NPC report lists 10 philanthropic innovations the UK should replicate

The think tank recommends Indian 'giving circles' and a German donor-rating system for either adoption or expansion in this country

The NPC report
The NPC report

A German giving platform where donors rate the causes they fund, philanthropic "giving circles" in India and a US foundation that puts 100 per cent of its assets into social investments are among 10 innovations that should be considered in the UK, a new report says.

The think tank NPC’s report 10 Innovations in Global Philanthropy, published today, profiles initiatives that NPC recommends either for adoption or for expansion in the UK to allow philanthropists and foundations to keep pace with demand for their funds.

Indian "giving circles" are small groups of like-minded philanthropists sharing expertise, conducting research and investing in single issues, coordinated by the foundation Dasra. The report says the idea has "high potential for replication in the UK to bring together groups of impact-oriented donors, particularly around gritty issues".

NPC says that the donor-rating system on the German site could be rolled out in the UK. Betterplace has 500,000 registered donors and 500 new projects register with it each month.

The report also mentions the KL Felicitas Foundation, which invests all its assets in social causes. It draws lessons, too, from innovations such as the Social Capital Note, a financial instrument created by the Goodstart consortium in Australia, and looks at trends such as learning from failure, layered funding and lean philanthropy.

Plum Lomax, deputy head of the funders team at NPC and one of the report’s authors, said: "UK philanthropists are already very generous, but there is always scope to look around the world to see what else could be achieved.

"Big donors here should be getting together to collaborate, which doesn’t happen nearly enough, or to use new technology to map the areas of greatest need that they might tackle. It takes a bit of nerve to adopt new ideas, but the world is changing and UK philanthropists can’t afford to be left behind."

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