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What is place based giving?

People have to feel like they matter and have a voice. Place-based giving is about devolving power to communities and trusting them to make decisions. Power needs to be relinquished and redistributed, and that has its risks. This is a 21st Century way for funders with deep roots to use their trust, knowledge and connections. It’s a different way of working, collaborating with people who know and care deeply about their boroughs. The effect is not just more money or volunteering, it is new alliances, discovering common interests, new thinking, shifting of resources and systems change

- Kristina Glenn, Director of Islington Giving from its launch in 2010 until 2019

Giving schemes are empowering people, businesses and organisations to come together to build a better borough for everyone.

Based on the notion that we can all give something - time, skills and money -  we channel those resources into aligned action that strategically addresses neighbourhood need in a joined-up way.

Acting on facts, data and hard evidence and with a deep knowledge of the community’s key issues and assets, we work to deliver people-friendly programmes outside local government provision. 

With an ear to the ground and a finger on the pulse, we are breaking new ground on how communities can solve issues such as poverty, exclusion, loneliness, mental health and unemployment, from the grassroots.

Join us in building better boroughs to benefit us all.

What is a Place Based Giving Scheme?

A Place Based Giving Scheme (PBGS) is a partnership, initiative, or organisation which understands, highlights, and responds to local needs. It brings new resources and approaches into a borough and creates better solutions through working together. Key activities include some or all of fundraising, volunteering, in-kind giving, grant-making, capacity-building, influencing and convening.

Every scheme is different because every borough is different and so are the needs and aspirations of its residents and its assets. Diversity is its strength. Every borough can become a pioneer and test new ideas and approaches which others can learn from and replicate.

The Principles of Place-Based Giving

The main conclusion London’s Giving has reached from six years of walking alongside developing PBGSs is ‘it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it’. In 2022 we came together to review the core principles which underpin place-based giving approaches:

  1. We connect people and foster collaboration, bringing together residents and the public, private and voluntary sectors
  2. We empower local people to take action on the issues that affect them
  3. We speak up about inequality and challenge ourselves and our partners to do better

In May 2020, we published 'The Power of People, Partnerships and Place' which shares lessons from the past six years. It finds that the complex task of achieving real change in communities at a time of uncertainty, austerity and a feeling of individual powerlessness can only be achieved by collaboration across the public, private and voluntary sectors. The report contributes to the national and global conversations around place, citizen voice and cross-sector partnership.

Committing to place-based giving

London Funders is committed to supporting effective local place-based giving schemes across London able to respond appropriately and ambitiously to local opportunities and conditions.  We recognise that this collaborative approach in place takes time and patience.  Place-based giving schemes need to develop sustainable local partnerships in order to grow their reach and impact.  Effective schemes need need long term commitment and investment from partners and a team with strong capacity and skills.

Our Resources and Publications page provides a range of learning, links and ideas for giving schemes and those considering developing them to draw on. Get in touch with us at [email protected] to find out about the practical support our London’s Giving project can offer.