philanthropy and generosity - picture of person giving cake

What kind of society do we want to build? One which opens up to philanthropy and allows people to be generous.

The COVID crisis should provide evidence of why philanthropy matters and why we need to take it more seriously than ever before in a society open to generosity. One cause for optimism during these bleakest of times has been a voluntary spirit and desire to help others, which emerged right from the start of the lockdown. Admonished to stay at home and protect the NHS, many instead found ways to help other human beings rather than stay still, immobilised by public mandate.

Overcoming personal barriers to giving

There have been a number of reports looking at the barriers to giving among wealthy people in the UK in recent months. They provide a great deal of insight into what the wider philanthropy sector could do better to support individual donors, but what can an individual philanthropist learn from them to make their own good first step into giving?

generosity threshold

What is the threshold for generosity in the UK today?

When you start on your giving journey, one of the hardest questions to answer is: “how much is generous?”Giving is so personal, and traditionally so private, that there are not really any benchmarks for generosity. Talk to friends and neighbours and you may discover you are doing more than most.

What my book really says – Paul Vallely

Modern social media is a double-edged sword. It alerts us quickly to the presence of something new. But its very speed also creates a tendency towards knee-jerk responses rooted in our preconceptions and prejudices. Often it cuts out the need to actually consider the evidence.  So it was with some concern that I heard that social media responses to my new book Philanthropy – from Aristotle to Zuckerberg had been the subject of unhappy comment among some philanthropists and philanthropy advisers after Twitter comments provoked by an extract from my book in The Guardian. 


UK wealthy increasing giving in response to COVID-19 pandemic

In June this year, we commissioned Savanta to conduct quarterly research on the giving levels among the wealthy population in the UK. In part, this was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how British philanthropy was responding.

It’s time to talk differently – and more carefully – about philanthropy

A new book on philanthropy is always cause for celebration. The serious study of philanthropy is still in its infancy in the UK and we need much fuller bookshelves to spark informed conversations about the role, purpose and consequences of private giving in contemporary society.

“Philanthropy from Aristotle to Zuckerberg” – A Contemporary UK Perspective

Paul Vallely’s new book “Philanthropy from Aristotle to Zuckerberg” is breathtaking in its ambition and scope. It is undoubtedly an important book not only on the history of philanthropy, but also as an analysis of its role in society.