Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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 23, 2021

In this episode we look at the relationship between sport, philanthropy and civil society through history and up to the present day. Including:


Sportspeople as donors

  • Big name examples of sportspeople who give generously: David Beckham, Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi
  • What drives this high-profile giving? Altruism, or brand-management/PR?
  • Lance Armstrong and the potential risks of making philanthropy over-reliant on the individual
  • Does the fact that many sportspeople’s careers end relatively early leave them searching for purpose, and can philanthropy fill that gap?
  • Can philanthropy be partly motivate by a desire to create positive narrative about wealth accrued through sport?
  • Is sport one area where people from poor backgrounds can become rich, and what does this mean for their approach to philanthropy?


Sportspeople as campaigners

  • Are some sportspeople perceived as campaigners simply by virtue of who they are?
  • When have sportspeople campaigned for change within their sport and when have they taken on wider social issues?
  • After many notable examples of campaigning by sportspeople in the 1960s and 70s, why did we see a decline in the 1980s and 1990s?
  • Are we seeing a resurgence in campaigning by sportspeople, with figures like Colin Kapaernick, Megan Rapinoe and Marcus Rashford coming to the fore?
  • How do sports fans perceive campaigning by sportspeople?


Sports and Fundraising

  • The long history of sporting charity fundraising events and the role of charity matches in the evolution of professional football
  • Sportspeople fundraising: from the traditional of testimonial matches to raise money for players’ retirements to sportspeople taking on charity fundraising challenges in other sports
  • Has the pandemic hit sports fundraising particularly hard, and what does this mean for charities that rely on running events etc?


Sports clubs and civil society

  • What is the history of the relationship between sports clubs and voluntary associations?
  • How did the development of sporting associations helped to foster civic engagement skills and ideals of mutual aid?
  • What is the role of modern sports clubs as corporate donors?
  • Is owning sports club a form of philanthropy…?
  • What role do clubs play in acting as community anchors and giving people a sense of shared identity? How can this inform social action?




Related Links