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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

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Oct 16, 2018

In episode 35, we look at the the relationship between religion, faith and philanthropy. Including:


1) Faith as a factor in individual giving

-Evidence from behavioural science

-The role of places of worship in bring diverse communities together and making people aware of issues

-Religious identity, communities of purpose and giving circles

-Religious obligations to give: tithing, Tzedakah and Zakat


2) Organised religion and the evolution of charity

-1601 Statute of Charitable Uses: why wasn't religion included?

-The 1891 Pemsel Case and the "four heads of charity"

-US religious causes and closed congregations


3) Religion, philanthropy and civil society today

-Is religion still the most popular cause?

-Obligations to fund the monastic life in Myanmar and Thailand

-The deep relationship between international aid and religion

-Places of worship as community focal points and welfare providers

-Is the world getting less religious or more?

-Religious persecution