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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.

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 the state today. Including:

-The history of the back-and-forth relationship between philanthropy and state in the UK

-Why did some think the birth of the Welfare State should have spelt the end for philanthropy?

-Is there a relationship between the size of the state and levels of giving?

-Does state welfare provision necessarily "crowd out" philanthropy? Or could it actually "crowd it in"?

-The importance of charitable campaigning within the welfare state

-The emergence of outsourcing and public service commissioning

-Are we now seeing a backlash against public service delivery by charities?