Economic and Social Research Council
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PROPOSALS SOUGHT FOR CENTRE FOR CHARITABLE GIVING AND PHILANTHROPY

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office, The Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Executive have today (22nd June) announced the call for proposals to establish the UK’s first independent, multidisciplinary and academically based Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy.

Charitable giving and the distribution of such donations is an area that has previously lacked research. Much of the emphasis of previous research centres on the “who?” and “how much?” of charitable giving rather than contextual issues such as “why is a person motivated to give?.”

The Centre, which sees a total joint investment of £2.2million over 5 years, will support high quality independent research aimed at influencing policy and practice decisions in the UK as well as developing the necessary evidence base to better understand charitable giving and philanthropy issues.

Professor Ian Diamond, Chief Executive the ESRC, commented: “This exciting new Centre will build on the ESRC’s long tradition of providing high quality independent research which meets the needs of a wide range of stakeholders, allowing us to engage nationally and internationally in order to inform on and develop the charitable giving and philanthropic issues that really matter We look forward to working with the Office of the Third Sector, Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Executive to establish this new centre for charitable giving and philanthropy.”

Acting as a co-ordinating hub, the new Centre will bring together leading experts and stakeholders throughout the UK and beyond to develop independent research capacity and, through knowledge exchange, support the work of regional and national organisations who could benefit from the research.

As well as the co-ordinating hub, applications will also be sought for “spokes” for the Centre in the following areas:
• Individual and Business Giving - exploring the structure of individual / corporate giving, motives for giving, role of incentives and policies to encourage giving, role of the media as well as the relationship between giving and citizenship.

• Charitable Giving and Social Redistribution – including the investigation of whether charitable activity might mitigate or reinforce social and economic inequalities, understanding the role between fundraising and distribution as well as the relationships between those giving and those receiving.

• Institutionalised Giving Structures – exploring the structure of institutionalised giving including who creates them, and what is their impact as well as exploring how new forms of philanthropy can emerge and how can partnerships be developed between the state and charitable organisations in order to deliver on joint outcomes.

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, within the Scottish Executive said: "The new Scottish government is delighted to support proposals for the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy. We are determined to improve the government's co-operation with the charitable sector."

Millie Banerjee, chair of the Carnegie UK Trust said, “I am delighted that Carnegie is partnering with the OTS, Scottish Executive and ESRC on establishing the UK's first philanthropy research centre. As a foundation we believe there is a need for more rigorous research and development to inform philanthropic foundations as creative and intelligent funders.”

The full specification for the call can be found at: http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/opportunities/current%5Ffunding% 5Fopportunities/

The closing date for full proposals is 14th August 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
ESRC Press Office
:
Alexandra Saxon (Tel: 01793 413032 / 07971027335, email: alexandra.saxon@esrc.ac.uk )
Annika Howard (Tel: 01793 413119, email: annika.howard@esrc.ac.uk )

NOTES FOR EDITORS

1. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. It supports independent, high quality research relevant to business, the public sector and voluntary organisations. The ESRC’s planned total expenditure in 2007/08 is £181 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and research policy institutes. More at http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk  

2. ESRC Society Today offers free access to a broad range of social science research and presents it in a way that makes it easy to navigate and saves users valuable time. As well as bringing together all ESRC-funded research (formerly accessible via the Regard website) and key online resources such as the Social Science Information Gateway and the UK Data Archive, non-ESRC resources are included, for example the Office for National Statistics. The portal provides access to early findings and research summaries, as well as full texts and original datasets through integrated search facilities. More at http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk  

3. In recognition of the increasingly important role the third sector plays in both society and the economy, the Prime Minister announced a new Office of the Third Sector in May 2006. Ed Miliband was appointed as the new Minister for the Third Sector, working in the Cabinet Office to Hilary Armstrong, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. For more information, please go to http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/thirdsector/ . The Office of the Third Sector are investing £750,000 to set up the centre.

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