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Place-based giving: growing nationwide, thriving in Islington

Islington Giving has been referenced in two important research reports in the last two weeks. Centre for London’s More, Better, Together: A strategic review of giving in London, and 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) highlight the growing success of place-based giving across London and the UK.

Cripplegate Foundation and Islington Giving: In 2010, Cripplegate Foundation brought together local and national organisations to establish Islington Giving, to act on the findings of our ‘Invisible Islington’ report, published in 2008. Cripplegate Foundation chairs the board of Islington Giving, which has raised almost £6million since 2010. We manage and finance all the operational work underpinning Islington Giving, meaning 100% of donations to Islington Giving are awarded as grants to benefit local residents.

The reports form part of a national conversation that seeks to understand the motivations and mechanisms behind place-based giving, and, in some cases, suggest that its implementation could benefit a wide range of communities.

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 demonstrates a growing acceptance of the effectiveness of locally focused philanthropic activity.

As referenced in the report, 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. 

There are now 26 other ‘Givings’ developing across the capital, each reflecting the particular challenges and opportunities of its location. As 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 Programme Director, Helen Kersley

Islington Giving recognises that in order to have the best positive impact in the local community, it cannot “plant-in” solutions; it must work with a diverse range of residents and continually increase its knowledge of the local area.

The work of Islington Giving, 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 have a positive impact on the lives of even more people.