Background Information

The first phase of the consultation exercise began in May of 2018. We carried out five focus groups through an open ‘crowd-sourcing’ process in London, Edinburgh, Bradford and Manchester. Convening delegates from the sector enabled us to hear the views of charity leaders, foundations, volunteers, consultants and other key stakeholders within the third sector.

The insights provided at these focus groups helped to shape our first survey. The survey served to elicit questions related to the topics on which charities and donors would like more research – it closed in September 2018. The results informed our second survey. The questions that had been obtained from our first survey were consolidated and de-duplicated, leaving 49 questions. Charities and donors were then asked to complete our second survey, where they were asked to prioritise these 49 questions.

Research Consultation

Charity Futures have undertaken a research consultation in conjunction with Giving Evidence. We want to find out what research you - charities and donors - need to help you in your vital work. This essential exercise, outlined in our published protocol, will ensure that charitable activity is based on sound evidence. Caroline Fiennes, the Director of Giving Evidence, spoke about the consultation at our annual conference.

Priority-Setting Workshop

The next major step will be to hold a priority-setting workshop with charities and funders. We take a list of 24 questions into that workshop, based upon the findings of our previous survey, and aim to emerge with a prioritised list of 10 research questions/topics. The workshop will take place in Manchester on the 8th April 2019. If you would like to express an interest in taking part, please fill out our form here. A Word version is available here.

A ‘sister project’ is also being conducted, as is outlined in the published protocol, which will map the existing research that is available on the strategic and operational management for charitable and philanthropic/funding activities. The findings of this will be compared with the findings of the priority setting exercise, which will identify important gaps and the most fruitful areas for funding future research in the UK, and a full report will be published.

Should you have any queries about the process, please contact Christopher Penny on