As the calendar ticks over to 2015, I want to quickly look back at what we got up to last year.
January kicked off with the return of the Lobbying Bill (now Act), and we joined other organisations in warning of the dangers that it poses to charities, arguing that it would follow the lead of a number of regressive regimes in the treatment of civil society. We also launched the second report from CAF’s Future World Giving project, investigating how not-for-profits can build public trust.
In February, we launched a report – ‘Give me a Break’ – written by our Policy Manager Rhodi Davies, comparing giving cultures in the US and the UK. A lively debate in Parliament on the merits of the different giving cultures featured contributions from Nick Hurd and Lisa Nandy.
The Growing Giving Inquiry returned to Parliament in March, with contributors given the opportunity to discuss proposed recommendations ahead of the final report’s publication later in the year. Elsewhere, CAF published ‘UK Giving 2012/13 – an update,’ which detected an increase of almost £1billion in real terms donations from previous surveys.
April saw the first meeting of the #GivingTuesday Advisory Board, bringing together a range of figures from the world of charity in the UK to ensure that the UK’s adoption of the global day of giving was a success. Support from elsewhere in the sector would aid the launch of the campaign later in the year.
In May, we began to work with ACEVO on our plans for three essay collections to be launched at party conference, asking MPs and prominent thinkers to set out their thoughts on the future of the charity sector. This month CAF published the third Future World Giving report, which argued the need to retain the independence of the sector across the globe.
June was a busy month, with the conclusion of the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry and publication of the ‘Creating an Age of Giving’ report in Parliament. The cross-party recommendations were welcomed by both Nick Hurd and Lisa Nandy, and we are now working to try and implement a number of the recommendations. In June, we also formally announced the introduction of #GivingTuesday to the UK, with launch events including businesses and charities, as well as New York based founder Henry Timms.
The second half of the year began with our regional road show to promote #GivingTuesday, and over the next few weeks we’d visit cities across the UK to encourage organisations to get involved. Whilst some of us toured the UK, Internal Policy Manager Adam Pickering jetted off to New York to speak at the Nexus Global Youth Summit, with the summit leading to the publication of a report later in the year.
August saw Holly Mitchell attend the #GivingTuesday global summit in New York, an event bringing together project leaders from across the globe, giving Holly the chance to use knowledge from elsewhere to inform our activity in the months ahead. Back in the UK, we released ‘Corporate Giving by the FTSE 100,’ a report investigating the amount contributed to charitable causes by the UK’s biggest businesses.
With September came the start of party conference season. CAF published the ‘Charity Street’ report, demonstrating the contribution that charities make in communities, and profiled at our stand. We also published the Red and Blue books of the voluntary sector, which were launched at busy fringe events. Finally, the House of St Barnabus played host to an event for #GivingTuesday founding partners.
The Yellow book was the final essay collection to be published, launch at Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow in October, and the project has helped ensure that the needs of charities are firmly on the political agenda as manifestos are written. Upon returning to Parliament, many MPs signed an EDM in support of #GivingTuesday, helping encourage organisations from across the country to participate.
In November, we published the ‘World Giving Index 2014,’ which this year saw Burma and the United States tied for top place as the most generous country in the world. An event in Parliament organised by Kelley Temple brought together MPs and #GivingTuesday partners, and saw many charities and businesses announce their plans for the day itself. Finally, we launched the Young Trustee Survey in partnership with Leon Ward, designed to allow us to encourage greater opportunities for young people to become trustees in 2015.
As the year drew to a close, activity certainly did not with the first #GivingTuesday taking place in the UK. Great activity on social media and high-profile coverage were accompanied by messages of support from the likes of David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Tom Daley, and early indications show a significant increase in donations from previous years. We’ll be looking to build on that success in 2015.
Even though this year has only just begun, it’s already shaping up to be busy. How can you find up what we’re up to this year? Follow us on twitter @cafonline, take a look at CAF’s website, keep an eye on the Giving Thought blog, and the Growing Giving, Future World Giving and #GivingTuesday websites, or for more information don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org