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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.

Mar 13, 2018

In episode 21, we look at "New Money vs. Old Money", and what the difference between inherited and created wealth means for philanthropy. Topics covered include:


- Attitudes to Wealth: We explore historical and contemporary evidence to see what differences there might be in the attitudes towards wealth of those who have made or inherited money. We look at the crucial distinction between stewardship and ownership, the role of social status, and the recognition of the element of luck and the existence of a social contract.


-Future Money & Precommitment: We look at economic evidence about the power of making pledges or commitments to give at a later date, and how these best work. We highlight practical examples or pledges, such as the Giving Pledge, or the 1-1-1 corporate giving model. We also touch on the curious story of the gambling philanthropist, Baron Hirsch.


-Cryptophilanthropy? We consider whether the money being made by early adopter of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could be harnessed for philanthropy. Does this represent a totally new form of wealth, with its own characteristics? And could this present challenges for charities trying to tap into it? What wider lessons might we learn for future fundraising?


Related material


- From HODL to GIEV? The opportunities and challenges of cryptophilanthropy


-Public Good by Private Means: How philanthropy shapes Britain

-If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance. (MIT Technology Review article)


- Meyvis, T., Bennett, A. & Oppenheimer, D. (2011). "Precommitment to Charity" in Oppenheimer, D. ed. (2016) The Science of Giving: Experimental Approaches to the Study of Charity, Routledge.