City Research Online

Philanthropy in Britain during the First World War

Grant, P. (2017). Philanthropy in Britain during the First World War. The Tocqueville Review/La Revue Tocqueville, 38(2), pp. 37-51. doi: 10.3138/ttr.38.2.37


Coverage of philanthropy in Britain during the First World War is generally somewhat superficial, mentioning a few high profile organisations and suggesting they had little impact. The reality was very different. The numbers of people involved on a regular basis in charities (one-and-a-half to two million) were comparable to the numbers who volunteered to fight. The sums they raised were huge (at least £150 million, worth around £7.5 billion today) and their impact on Britain’s war effort considerable. In addition a very large number of Britain’s approximately 20,000 war charities were run by ordinary working class people for the benefit of local troops or local causes. Their actions cemented social capital in the UK whereas, ultimately, it did not in Germany. The chapter also examines the establishment of the post of Director General of Voluntary Organizations, the highly innovative and effective Sir Edward Ward.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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