Charity Futures announces new Oxford Institute of Charity

Written by Lauren Weymouth

Sir Stephen Bubb has announced the launch of the Oxford Institute of Charity, which will be hosted at New College, Oxford University.

The Charity Futures CEO announced plans this week to open doors in the summer of 2022 in a purpose-built home on a newly developed part of the college. It forms part of a collaboration between New College and the third sector think tank.

After three years of planning, Bubb announced the OIC aims to deliver on the following objectives:

• deliver high calibre academic research to be used by the global charity community;
• promote the importance of research and study of charity, both at post-graduate and undergraduate level, in universities more generally;
• develop networks and foster links internationally;
• digitise charity records to assist with wider research and study;
• organise conferences and summer schools for UK and global academics, philanthropists, corporate donors and leaders of civil society.

Work at the institute will begin in June this year, with the development of a strategic fundraising plan. The OIC will undertake a global search for a single £30m endowment to deliver a sustainable annual income.

Bubb will retain his role at Charity Futures, but will also assume an interim role at OIC as acting director, charged with commissioning the fundraising strategy, raising awareness of OIC in academic circles and in charities, and working collaboratively with the college to identify and appoint the first academic director.

“When there are so many divisions in society, civil society is needed more than ever. And when charities themselves face challenges, research and study of charity is particularly timely,” he said.

“The participation of New College in this collaboration is very significant for us. Charity Futures was established to look at the long-term future health of the charitable sector in the UK. We were clear from the start that finding a home at a truly excellent academic institution was essential if the mission of providing original and rigorous research was to be met.

“The research and study of charity will be of the highest intellectual order but aims to promote better, more sustainable, and effective performance of charity in the world. OIC will also serve as an authoritative source for views on the sector with government and the media, and in the development of policy generally.”

NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington added: “I’m very pleased to see the launch of the Oxford Institute of Charity. As the size and influence of the charity sector has grown considerably, it’s right that the attention we give to understanding it also grows.

"We already have a range of outstanding academic centres dedicated to studying many aspects of charity, and I know all those behind the Institute passionately believe that its greatest impact will be delivered through collaborating with other researchers across the UK and beyond."

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