Place-Based Giving (PBG) has gained some prominence as a topic in recent years and PBG schemes saw a proliferation across the UK before the pandemic.

The Government defines place-based giving as "a partnership between communities, philanthropists, corporate donors and local organisations, local authorities and national funders that bring together resources in a collaborative way to benefit the community in a defined geographic location". And schemes predominantly are set up and work “with the intention of tackling local issues in a new way”.

In 2018, the Government funded a mapping and categorisation of various schemes for England, as well as the Growing Place-Based Giving programme, which CAF helped deliver. Other initiatives, such as London Funders, have provided deep insights into the development of the field and many of its members are giving schemes, which also took part in the London Community Response. This is an unprecedented funder collaboration tackling the impact of Covid-19 on local communities.

Many private and public funders, including government, have invested in this space and helped to set up and grow schemes. But the case is building to revisit PBG more broadly, to build on its strengths (which have become even more visible during Covid-19) and explore the links with wider policy agendas, not least of which is the Government’s  Levelling Up ambitions.

While the model has been tested and tried, there were also a set of underlying assumptions around what PBG can achieve, including:

  • Galvanise communities and other local (and even national) groups around a shared agenda, bringing together new partners which might have been peripheral to local renewal processes.
  • Generate activity that is marked by additionality (i.e. delivering some extra goods), in particular when compared to the existing private and public service delivery.
  • Increase individual giving and philanthropy from various sources (locally and even nationally), potentially tying in public funding as well.
  • Centre around community voices, enhance participation in shared projects between communities and other local stakeholders, and democratise decision-making processes on the use of local resources.
  • Increases community ownership of projects and outcomes and address local needs and priorities.
  • Increase local resilience, with schemes pivoting along emerging and changing community needs and priorities.

‘Proof of concept’ was already available by the giving generated and impact achieved, but there is also a need  for more information on how PBG works in practice. Covid-19 created a large ‘stress test’ for all of society, including PBG schemes.

Read the full article about place-based philanthropy by Daniel Ferrell-Schweppenstedde at Charities Aid Foundation.