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Welcome to the Giving Thought Podcast, a bi-weekly exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society from the Charities Aid Foundation’s in-house think-tank, Giving Thought.

In each episode your host Rhodri Davies (formerly with co-host Adam Pickering) explores a big issue, theme or trend and analyses what it means for philanthropy and civil society around the world.

Be sure to check the show notes for each podcast and find blogs, reports and videos from Giving Thought and do get in touch if you have questions or suggestions at

Finally, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or your podcast provider of choice.

Jun 10, 2019

In episode 51, we explore philanthropic pledges: what are they, do they work and how have they been used to drive more and better giving? Including:


  • Mackenzie Bezos’ recent decision to join the Giving Pledge has been widely reported. But how successful has this initiative been overall?
  • Who are the notable...

May 28, 2019

In episode 50, we talk to Phil Buchanan- founding CEO of the Center for Effective Philanthropy and author of a new book: Giving Done Right: Effective Giving and Making Every Dollar Count. We discuss current debates about philanthropy and what we need to do to ensure a positive narrative about the value of giving in our...

May 14, 2019

In episode 49, we explore some of the issues brought to light by the recent devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the immediate philanthropic response. Including:


-Does the Notre Dame response demonstrate there is untapped philanthropic potential out there?

-Why will people respond so readily to a...

Apr 23, 2019

In episode 48 we talk to Megan Ming Francis, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, about her recent paper “The Price of Civil Rights: Black Lives, White Funding and Movement Capture” and her wider work on the role of philanthropic funders in supporting the civil...

Apr 9, 2019

In episode 47 we talk to Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of the Wolfson Foundation, about foundations and endowed philanthropy. Including:

  • What is the core role of philanthropy within society which differentiates it from either state or market provision?
  • What is the particular role of foundations/endowed philanthropy in that...