John is a co-founder of OUR COMMON GOOD with Paul Donovan.

We live in a divided society

The need for more philanthropy is growing

Why we need Our Common Good

  • The not for profit sector has no shortage of brilliant ideas, but many never achieve sufficient reach.
  • Systemic problems are rarely solved working in isolation – collaboration between charities and other agencies is a prerequisite for lasting change – and we need more of it.
  • We believe that local knowledge and proximity to problems generates better outcomes.
  • Lack of core funding is a key factor inhibiting the ability of charities to develop the necessary capacity and capabilities.

Many charities lack both the funding and the know how to build the capacity needed to meet escalating demand.

Encouraging the growth of philanthropic giving, money, time and treasure, requires innovative ideas, compelling cases for investment and more rigorous evaluation.

Increasing giving to social and community projects will require digital platforms to fund “place-making” initiatives which resonate with philanthropist’s interests and values.

What we do

  • We identify and reimagine solutions to problems at community level.
  • We incubate and accelerate innovative early-stage charities, social enterprises and projects that demonstrate potential for rapid growth.
  • We facilitate models that can be replicated and scaled nationally, apply know-how to strategy and invest in building core capabilities.
  • We foster greater cross-sector collaboration, convening new approaches to empower local communities.
  • We encourage new and more philanthropic giving by developing compelling cases for investment that deliver high impact and sustainable change. Each programme has strong evidence, measurement and evaluation methodologies.
  • In time, we plan to broaden the base for philanthropy and persuade more people to give whatever their means by using digital platforms to fund a wider range of place-making initiatives.

Our Common Good Projects

In 2019, we established Our Common Good as a Donor Advised Fund.

Since then, we have  developed and seed funded three pilot projects and identified potential strategic partners, co-investors and supporters.


Community Larders are community-based membership schemes which help to empower people in need with food and advice in a place where they feel they belong.


Growing Minds is a project uniting the voluntary, public and private sectors with donors to tackle educational inequality from the earliest age, using proven solutions in innovative ways.


The provision of structured and matched mentorship assignments with not for profit leaders has the potential to support the personal development agendas of senior business leaders, providing the benefits of volunteering while creating cohorts of skilled mentors who can be deployed within the company.

For more information, see