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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...

Dec 20, 2018

In an end of year special, bumper 2-part episode 40, we look back over 2018 and ahead to 2019.

In part 1, we review some of the biggest stories and themes affecting philanthropy and civil society over the year and look at how we got on with our predictions from the start of the year.

Topics covered include:



Dec 11, 2018

In episode 39 we look at the relationship between philanthropy and empathy. Including:

-What does neuroscience tell us about the link between empathy and altruism?

-The importance of physical proximity

-Does empathy lead us to prioritise giving to those who are sufficiently “like us”, at the expense of others?


Nov 27, 2018

In episode 38 we talk to Professor Rob Reich from Stanford University about his new book, Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better and about his wider work exploring the political philosophy of philanthropy.

In a wide-ranging conversation, we cover:

-What motivated him to write the...

Nov 13, 2018

In episode 37, we explore the relationship between philanthropy and the notion of a Welfare State. We look at the role philanthropy played in the origins of state welfare, what economics and other sciences can tell us about the relationship between the two, and how we should view the role of philanthropy in relation to...