Giving Evidence and Charity Futures have run two projects which combine to identify priority areas for new academic research into charities and philanthropy. These studies are prompted by the growing amount of academic research activity around charities and philanthropy, including the establishment the Oxford Institute of Charity.
Our two studies were about:
- Demand: This asked UK charities and donors (of all types) what they want more research about. It was an open consultation process run over 15 months, through focus groups, surveys and a workshop, which invited any charity or donor to suggest questions for research, and then invited any charity or donor to vote to prioritise the list. It resulted in a prioritised list of 24 questions (listed here). It adapted a method developed in medical / health for consulting with patients and their carers about their priorities for medical research. Download the ‘demand’ findings here.
- Supply: This investigated what research already exists about UK charities and philanthropy; what topics it does and does not cover, and what methods it uses. It used systematic review methods, and was led by The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI Centre) at University College London, precisely because they are experts in systematic reviews but are outside the charity / philanthropy sectors. Download the ‘review version’ of the ‘supply’ findings here.
Combined, the two sets of results form a ‘gap analysis’ and show major areas where more research would be valued by charities and donors, who are among its intended users.