Current research projects
- Moonshot Philanthropy – In Summer 2023 we begin work on an exciting new research project to bring clarity to the concept and practice of ‘moonshot philanthropy’ as a means to achieving the key challenges facing humanity, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The costs of financing the SDGs was running short by $2.5 trillion per annum before the Covid pandemic and according to the OECD the gap may reach $4.2 trillion per annum post-pandemic. There is therefore an urgent need to understand how best to reduce this gap. Philanthropists are known to have different risk appetites, with some seeking more certain outcomes and others being willing to pursue a ‘moonshot’ approach. This research project will focus on the latter, generating new evidence of the existence and effectiveness of this concept to explore and communicate how risk-taking capital can be best harnessed to achieve the type of disproportionate and disruptive change necessary to achieve the SDGs.
- Philanthropy advising – We interviewed 40 philanthropy advisors in 15 countries to map the landscape of philanthropy advising, identifying what the work involves, what kind of people are doing it, and how it relates to the broader philanthropy sector and criticisms about philanthropy. This research developed from the ‘Advising Donors module on our Masters programme which Emma Beeston and Dr Beth Breeze co-designed and co-teach every Summer term. An overview of the study’s findings is available in this short film:
- Defending Philanthropy – Whilst critique is an important aspect of scholarly and useful for improving philanthropy, this study explores whether criticisms have gone too far in over-stating the problematic aspects of private giving and undermining its positive role and potential. A series of discussions and interactions with philanthropists and practitioners across the world culminated in the publication of In Defence of Philanthropy’ (2021) which won the 2021 Skystone Research prize and was described by the Wall Street Journal as “A masterly takedown… a badly needed rebuttal to the rising chorus of denunciations directed at high-profile donors”