Sir Stephen Bubb sets sights on Institute for Philanthropy and Charity

The former head of Acevo is working with the Oxford Centre for the Study of Philanthropy to negotiate the establishment of the institute at Oxford University

Sir Stephen Bubb
Sir Stephen Bubb

Sir Stephen Bubb is in negotiations with the University of Oxford about setting up an Institute for Philanthropy and Charity.

Bubb, who last year set up Charity Futures, an initiative that is considering how the sector can be supported in the long term, said he was working with the charity the Oxford Centre for the Study of Philanthropy to finalise plans for the creation of an institute. He said he hoped to win the approval of the University of Oxford before the end of the year.

Bubb, an Oxford graduate, led the charity chief executives body Acevo for 15 years before leaving in 2016 to become chief executive of Charity Futures.

Bubb revealed the plan for the institute at a conference in London last Thursday.

Bubb told Third Sector: "There are quite a few institutes of philanthropy, particularly in the US, but they’re largely about donors, as opposed to how do you philanthropy better.

"This will be research-based and will develop a digital laboratory and publications. We have big plans, but we’re still in discussions with the university."

Charity Futures is a community interest company funded through a £400,000 grant from the fund management firm Woodford Investment Management, but Bubb said the ambition was to build a dedicated centre in Oxford that would require millions of pounds from a range of sources. He said he hoped the building would open in 2021.

Bubb said that Charity Futures was also working in partnership with three sector organisations.

He said it was developing an online tool for trustees in conjunction with the Clore Social Leadership programme and was undertaking a scoping exercise, with the Charity Finance Group, on collaboration and back-office sharing in the sector.

Charity Futures will also work with the Behavioural Insights Team, the Cabinet Office-backed behavioural science initiative, on core costs and why many funders refuse to pay them. "It will ask what behavioural change we can instigate to pay core costs," said Bubb.

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