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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.

Dec 20, 2018

In part 2 of our bumper end of year special (episode 40), we make some predictions for what 2019 might hold...


2019 Predictions:

Politics & Economics

  • BREXIT (or not…?)
  • General Election?
  • UK voluntary reporting on SDGs
  • Ongoing impact of austerity
  • Local government funding and Local Authorities running out of money
  • Populism & ongoing challenges for democracy
  • Another global financial crash?


Philanthropy & Civil Society

  • More critiques of big philanthropy; general default more critical (also in UK?)
  • Focus on think tanks, dark money etc
  • Austerity: debating role of charity vs state
  • Further closing space issues, including digital angles (misinformation, astroturfing etc)
  • Networked models for social change
  • Line between civil society and politics will come under increasing strain
  • Shifting power; democratising philanthropy
  • Next big fundraising/charity scandal?



  • Continuing tech backlash?
  • More funders focussing on algorithmic bias
  • Pushback on AI ethics- criticism that it frames the debate in the tech industry’s terms and allows them to avoid discussion of regulation etc.
  • Divergence of cryptophilanthropy and blockchain efforts
  • Blockchain will continue to bubble under surface and back office blockchain use case will be demonstrated
  • Self Sovereign Digital Identity will come to the fore
  • Charity RegTech applications will emerge
  • Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing for data collection and analysis on charity finances, philanthropy data
  • More giving by conversational AI
  • More commercial platforms adding giving functionality
  • eSports growth, digital “skins” and giving via gaming platforms (e.g. Twitch)
  • Deepfakes and challenges to online authenticity
  • More awareness of personal data bargain
  • Charity Data fines