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Lindsay Boswell resigns as advisor to CGAP over research funding

Lindsay Boswell resigns as advisor to CGAP over research funding

News

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, has resigned from the advisory panel for the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy because he says the research body will not pursue projects that ‘will help fundraisers raise more money’.

Boswell said, “I have attended the last two advisory boards and have pushed for fundraising research that responds to knowledge gaps and will help fundraisers raise more money. Without some form of analysis of the fundraising research already out there and then an analysis of the gaps it is difficult to see how this can be achieved. I have therefore written to the Charities Minister and to the Chair of the advisory board explaining our withdrawal.”

David Emerson, chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), and a member of the advisory panel to the centre, responded to Boswell’s departure, saying there was an important distinction to be made between fundraising and charitable giving, “I have no problem with dedicated research for fundraising, which is vital and valuable. However, fundraising and charitable giving have opposite perspectives, and that is a very important distinction to make. This Centre is dedicated to charitable giving and should be its focus. My real worry is that we in the ‘donor’ world are failing to get our message across about the equal importance and value of research from this donor perspective.”

Boswell had a place on the advisory panel alongside representatives from the Office of the Third Sector, the Scottish Government, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Carnegie Trust, which contributed £2.2m to set up the centre in 2007.

The centre, based at the Cass Business School in London, split this funding between four universities, but left £600,000 for further research projects, and it the proposed use of this money that Boswell objects to.

The centre is expected to announce next month the recipients of the remaining £600,000 funding.

Boswell also announced that the Institute for Fundraising intends to set up a research think tank to meet the ‘research needs of charities’. This think tank will be developed over the next six months.

A statement from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) said, “The Centre will continue to produce research which will inform and support the work of the fundraising community. It is hoped that the Institute of Fundraising and CCGAP can both work to build the third sector's research base. The Centre will respond to appropriate opportunities for involvement in the Institute’s future initiatives around fundraising research.”