Place-based giving: growing nationwide, thriving in Islington
Islington Giving has been referenced in three important research reports in the last two weeks. Centre for London’s More, Better, Together: A strategic review of giving in London, The Researchery’s Place-based giving schemes: Funding, engaging and creating stronger communities (commissioned by the Office for Civil Society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), and Harnessing the capital’s giving: What is the role of the Mayor and Greater London authority in enabling civic philanthropy? by Rocket Science. They all highlight the growing success of place-based giving across London and the UK.
The reports form part of a national conversation that seeks to understand the motivations and mechanisms behind place-based giving.
In its recent Civil Society Strategy, the UK Government pledged £750,000 to support the development and growth of civic philanthropy and place-based giving schemes. This is a tangible endorsement of local philanthropy that builds on a growing acceptance of its effectiveness.
As referenced in the reports, Islington Giving is involved in a cross-sectoral exchange of ideas, aiming to improve the reach and impact of the place-based giving model. As the first of the “new model” schemes in London, Islington Giving continues to work alongside the public, private, and voluntary sectors to explore the potential of an approach that is embedded in the needs and realities facing local residents.
As emphasised by Rocket Science, London “is a collection of many different places […] encompassing around 50 town centres.” There are now 26 other ‘Givings’ developing across the capital, inspired by Islington Giving, but each reflecting the particular challenges and opportunities of its location.
According to the Centre for London report, these exemplify how a “new infrastructure is emerging to encourage greater individual and corporate giving at a local level.”
Innovating with Islington
Islington Giving Programme Director Helen Kersley explains, “the whole essence of place-based giving schemes is that they are very local and very person-centred.” Islington Giving recognises that to have the most positive impact in the local community, we cannot “plant-in” solutions. We must work with a diverse range of residents and continually increase our knowledge of the local area. We must also be flexible and open to new opportunities, as evidenced by the development of the BIG (Business for Islington Giving) Alliance, established with Macquarie Group Foundation in 2012.
Our work, which has reached over 20,000 Islington residents since 2010, is made possible by bringing people, businesses, and organisations together as equal partners, and harnessing the ideas, energy, and resources they each bring. A commitment to innovation, and to sharing learning with others, can help place-based giving schemes across the country to thrive, and change more lives for good.