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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.

Nov 7, 2017

In episode 13, Rhod and Adam ask whether we could ever see the end of charities? Topics covered include:


- Achieving the mission: Is the best possible end result for a charity to make itself redundant by solving the social or environmental problem it was founded to address? And does this ever happen in practice? We look at the importance role that criticisms of there being "too many charities" have played in the history of philanthropy, and ask whether evolution is more likely than dissolution for most organisations.


-Direct cash transfers: The long-term trend in philanthropy has been towards ever-greater intermediation and professionalisation; but in recent years we have seen new technology-driven models that might take us back to a model of direct person-to-person philanthropy. Where could this model bring advantages, and could it even disrupt the whole marketplace for philanthropy? 


-Blockchain & DAOs: Blockchain technology could bring many benefits and challenges for philanthropy. One intriguing possibility is that governance structures themsleves could be decentralised, so that people can come form networks to work together but without the need for a centralised structure. What could this mean for the notion of a charitable organisation and the options for us all to take social action?



Related Giving Thought content:


-Public Good by Private Means (BOOK)


-A Timeline of Modern British Philanthropy


-Crisis and Response: What history tells us about the challenges facing UK charities


-The Rise of Direct Giving in Development Philanthropy


-The Decentralisation of Good: Blockchain, DAOs and the Future of Charity


-What Opportunities Does Blockchain Offer?