Giving in London

A culture of giving is good for people and for places. It enhances the wellbeing of citizens and the global profile of the city. As public spending and charities’ resources are increasingly squeezed, it can also play a bigger role in tackling the capital’s social challenges. This project aimed to build a comprehensive picture of giving in the capital, and consider what can be done to promote giving for the benefit of all Londoners.

Read the final report

London has a high concentration of wealth, with more billionaires than any other city in the world. Yet, it is also home to persistent poverty and disadvantage. London has a long history of giving and Londoners donate large amounts of money and time to a wide variety of charitable causes. With London’s geography of wealth and poverty changing, can more be done to boost a culture of giving and civil society across the capital?

This project examined how and why people give in London, to develop a comprehensive understanding of philanthropic and charitable impulse at both individual and organisational level. It explored the challenges to giving in London, considering the role of intermediary organisations, how policy shapes the sector, and barriers that exist to giving in its varied forms.

The project assessed the giving of money, but also time, expertise and in-kind support, looking across five giving sectors:

  1. Giving by the general public
  2. Giving by the wealthiest individuals
  3. Giving by trusts and foundations
  4. Corporate philanthropy
  5. Social investment

The project looked at how different types of giving interact, what future trends in giving might look like and how London can take a more strategic approach to promoting it. It considered the potential of London as a hub for social investors and entrepreneurs, and the overall potential impact for London’s economy and society of promoting its role as a global centre of giving.

On completion, our report lay out principles for a city-wide vision and strategy for giving and social impact. It made policy recommendations for the Mayor of London and London’s giving leaders.

In June 2018, we published a short paper which looked at recent trends in charities focused on London issues.

In September 2018, we published the final report, a strategic review of giving in the capital which considered the scale and impact of giving across five sectors, and how Londoners can give more, better, and together.


This project has been generously supported by