Author Archive:

Caroline Fiennes

Opinion Caroline Fiennes 17 July 2020

Royal patronages of charities have no discernible effect

Nearly 1,200 UK charities have Royal patrons. Mindful that some donors are much less helpful than they think they are, Giving Evidence set out to investigate whether Royal patronages help charities. We could find no …

Analysis Caroline Fiennes and Shruti Patel 16 December 2019

We tried to see whether charities’ admin costs correlate to their effectiveness, and you won’t believe what happened next

Many people believe that charities waste money on ‘administration’, and hence that the best charities spend little on administration. Some people even take a strong form of this view, that the best charities are by …

Opinion Caroline Fiennes 21 December 2017

What the Skoll Global Threats Fund learnt with its $100 million

The first president of eBay, Jeff Skoll, set up his Global Threats Fund in 2010 to ‘make progress against five of the gravest threats to humanity’: climate change, pandemics, water security, nuclear proliferation, and conflict …

Special feature Caroline Fiennes, Helen Owen and Charles Keidan 5 September 2017 For Subscribers

White and wealthy 

The Alliance diversity survey reveals some gaps but we only know so much. Introduction When Alliance magazine was planning its special feature, it wanted the issue to be informed by data on diversity in institutional philanthropy in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, class and disability. As limited data are available, Alliance decided to conduct its …

Book review Caroline Fiennes 5 September 2017 For Subscribers

Experimental conversations: perspectives on randomized trials in development economics – edited by Timothy Ogden 

Reviewed by Caroline Fiennes. Much rubbish is spoken about randomized controlled trials (RCTs). And many of the views ascribed to the ‘randomistas’ who run them are not in fact held by them. For instance, it is often said that RCTs are …

Analysis 2 Caroline Fiennes and Ken Berger 15 March 2016

Oops: we made the non-profit impact revolution go wrong

The non-profit ‘impact revolution’– over a decade’s work to increase the impact of non-profits – has gone in the wrong direction. As veterans and cheerleaders of the revolution, we are both part of that. Here …

News 2 Caroline Fiennes 5 June 2015

A welcome public row about donor effectiveness

Well done Malcolm Gladwell. On Wednesday this week, Harvard announced its biggest gift ever, $400m from the American hedge fund manager John Paulson for its school of engineering and applied sciences. Gladwell ridiculed it: ‘It …

Special feature Caroline Fiennes 1 June 2015

Is Constituent Voice a proxy for randomized controlled trials?

The short answer is no. At first sight, it seems that randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and Constituent Voice (CV) could be substitutes for each other because they both seek to ascertain a programme’s effect. In …

Conference reports Caroline Fiennes 18 November 2014

Reflections from Emirates Foundation Youth Philanthropy Summit

Begun only last year, Emirates Foundation’s annual summit has already become a fixture, and it’s huge. It started as a way for Emirates Foundation to gather insights to improve its own work – running a …

Opinion Caroline Fiennes 3 October 2014

Frankly speaking: C&A Foundation tells it like it is

‘We take seriously our responsibility for our employees, customers and everyone who is part of our supply chain,’says the international fashion retailer C&A on its website. So says almost every other international company. But they …