Early interventions: An economic approach to charitable giving


Magazine article

Iona Joy, Matthew van Poortvliet, Sarah Hedley, Benedict Rickey and Eibhlín Ní Ógáin

Philanthropic resources are scarce, yet often allocated according to personal beliefs and emotional connections. This substantial report describes an alternative model: using an economic approach to achieve better charitable funding decisions.

This report makes a compelling argument that all types of private funders can – and should – tackle difficult social problems in the UK. In particular, it focuses on three of the toughest issues: families with complex problems, children with conduct problems, and helping people with mental health problems to get and keep work.

The authors argue that private funders can play a unique role in creating change, because they can take a long term perspective and invest in tackling the root causes of problems at a time when public resources are stretched. They can fund early intervention, support unmet needs, and develop innovative solutions to social problems. As well as changing the lives of individuals and families, and improving communities, effective funding can create enormous benefits for society and the economy; but more importantly, it can help to transform the way that we as a society identify and support the most vulnerable.

Barclays Wealth, in co-operation with NPC: London, September 2011, 45 pp. Free to download at: http://www.philanthropycapital.org/download/default.aspx?id=1162