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The Logic of Charity: Great Expectations in Hard Times

Beth Breeze, MA 1995

Co-authored with non-alum Prof John Mohan, this book explores the role and capacity of charity in contemporary society. Charity is a consistent and important feature of life in the UK, yet there is no clear understanding of what charity is, how it operates, who it benefits, and what it can and cannot be expected to do. 

In particular, we argue that the logic guiding charitable activity is not well understood by politicians, who nonetheless seek to encourage charity, and harness it in support of their political programmes. 

 This book presents extensive new data from over a dozen studies conducted by the authors, including public attitudes to giving, large datasets on the geography and funding patterns of third sector organisations, and interviews with a wide range of donors, charity leaders, fundraisers and philanthropy advisers. 

These studies enable us to explore the logic of charity in terms of the distribution of resources across causes and communities in the UK, and the processes behind philanthropic decision-making. Our data reveals a picture of charitable activity at odds with widespread assumptions.

ISBN: ISBN 978-1-137-52263-4