The Future of Charity Report

We believe our sector is in crisis & on the brink of a revolution.

The dominant paradigm of social good delivered by trusted charity, funded by philanthropy, grants and service contracts, articulating impact as a money in, money out equation, has served us well for the past century.

But societal, technological and political changes have created new phenomena, new tools, new challenges and new expectations, that our existing paradigm cannot capitalise upon.

Others have innovated in the social good landscape through the lenses of corporate purpose and impact. Paternalistic and colonial power structures are being dismantled around us, both outside and inside the sector.

The Victorian paradigm of charity is in crisis.

The good news:
New paradigms are emerging. Experiments are happening across the sector exploring new models of governance, new approaches to income, new structures of collaboration and new balances of power away from the Global North. Change is possible and change is happening. But this change is also being stifled by the risk practices and ways of working of the old paradigm.

We've got to break out of our paradigm. The more we can do to break down some of those barriers, prompt some of these debates and connect people, I think the better. Because we're all suffering the same challenges and we all realise that life is changing.”
Charity CEO

The purpose of this report
We hope that this report isn’t simply a playback of the views of the sector as it is right now, or a regurgitation of the same complaints we’ve read in similar reports for the last decade.

But it equally isn’t a blueprint for one future paradigm that focuses social good solely on the third sector, because, quite frankly, we don’t think there is one solution to all of this.

This report is an invitation to collaborate on the future. To bring together organisations and institutions interested in solving social problems to innovate now and redesign the foundations of future charity.

This is not about saving charity for charity’s sake, but rather about building the foundations of something stronger, more agile and more fit to tackle future problems.

Because if we don’t invest now in building the future we need and want, we will inevitably sleepwalk into the worst case scenarios.

Welcome to the future of charity.

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