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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.

May 24, 2017

Here goes nothing! We are pleased to launch the Giving Thought Podcast, brought to you by the Charities Aid Foundation's in house think-tank Giving Thought.

In our first episode, we will be looking at the interplay between philanthropy, charity and politics. Given recent political events around the world and the trend for civil society activism to singled out for special scrutiny for its political influence this seems timely.

We have decided to look at this issue from three interesting angles;

  • Scrapping the Johnson amendment: What if President Trump follows through on his pledge to "destroy" the Johnson amendment which restricts the political lobbying of non profits and religious organisations?
  • The emerging legal environment for Chinese civil society: New laws have made life much easier for donors and charities to operate ... as long as you agree with the government.
  • Fake News: The proliferation of false stories targeted at specific audiences online raises problems for charities in getting their message across but also new needs for them to address.


Read related content from Giving Thought


Closing Space or Open Season? What President Trump's latest move means for the future of civil society campaigning.

The Johnson Amendment prevents US nonprofits from electoral campainging, but Donald Trump wants to abolish it. Why?


Algorithm Is Gonna Get You: what the rise of algorithms means for philanthropy

Algorithms are the automated decision processes that increasingly govern many aspects of our lives and the choices we make.

Truth Decay: Philanthropy and the battle against misinformation and fake news

Does philanthropy have a vital role to play in combating the widely-publicised threat of “fake news”?