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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.

Feb 13, 2018

In episode 19, the first of a two-parter on "Philanthropy, Death and Taxes", Rhod looks at the influence of mortality on giving. Topics covered include:


-The History of Death & Philanthropy: how has mortality shaped modern philanthropy? We look at the pheonomenon of competitive eulogies in Tudor England, and the impact of the 1736 Statute odf Mortmain on creating a pluralist charity sector. We also consider the problems that can result from the "dead hand of the donor".


-Giving while living vs. Waiting til you are gone: We look at the shifting balance between legacy giving and giving during one's lifetime. Have recent years seen a shift towards the latter, with a growing number of spend-down foundations, the establishment of the Giving Pledge and the rise of a breed of young billionaires from Silicon Valley?


-The Future of Death: Life Extension, Digital Emulation & Wills on the Blockchain: We consider some of the ways in which new technology might solve traditional problems for philanthropy when it comes to death, but also the new challenges it might bring.


Related Giving Thought content


-Millions Now Giving Will Never Die: Life Extension, Whole-Brain Emulation and Philanthropy


-Future Imperfect: 10 new problems that technology will create and charities will have to deal with


Public Good By Private Means: How philanthropy shapes Britain (BOOK)


A Timeline of Modern British Philanthropy