Funding campaigning & policy work: the philanthropy of changing minds
Posted 4 February 2009
In November 2008 City Parochial Foundation and the Baring Foundation convened an event for independent funders to consider the issues and challenges of funding campaigning and policy work.
There was general agreement that the issues facing society cannot be solved by charitable foundations funding service delivery alone. Whether our aim is to promote education, tackle climate change, improve housing, reduce inequalities or tackle poverty we need far greater resources than the annual £2 billion that UK foundations collectively distribute. This requires influencing the public, civil society, business and government. As such, campaigning and policy work is an important part of our power to achieve change. There were presentations from two key speakers:
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, gave a passionate account of why support from independent charitable foundations is so critical for campaigning organisations. She contended that funding campaigning is crucial to democracy because without independent voices, democracy is undermined.
Caroline Cooke, Head of Policy Engagement and Foresight at the Charity Commission, sought to dispel the persistent myth that the Commission could or should be a reason for charities not to campaign or funders not to fund campaigning. Charities can campaign and carry out political activity, indeed, the Charity Commission sees both as key ways in which charities make a difference. It is a legitimate approach, within the legal framework.
There were also workshops from Shehnaaz Latif from Charities Evaluation Service, Tris Lumley from New Philanthropy Capital, Catherine Howarth from Fair Pensions, Barry Knight from Centris, and Laura Cheeseman from the Cluster Munitions Coalition.
For a full report of the event please download this document.