PBE can provide charities with economic analysis to use in their campaigns to change policy and to provide evidence to policymakers such as MPs, Select Committees and local government. PBE prides itself on its independence and its advocacy reports reflect that, providing rigorous analysis of evidence to quantify the benefits of policy change or the cost of a problem to society.

PBE has produced its independent advocacy reports for charities in a range of areas, and the team has particular expertise in education, employment, mental health and poverty. These reports are detailed, and the process of producing them is intensive – taking between 6 and 18 months. But PBE’s advocacy reports are unique, as the volunteer economists that PBE works with to produce them come from a wide range of relevant organisations such as the civil service and regulators.

How have other charities made use of PBE advocacy reports?

Hestia is a charity that provides support to survivors of domestic abuse. When the government launched its draft Domestic Abuse Bill, they were concerned there was not enough evidence available about the effect of domestic violence on children, and asked PBE to help.

PBE calculated that failure to support children exposed to domestic violence in the UK may be costing taxpayers between £480 million and £1.4 billion. With around 500,000 children in the UK having been exposed to severe domestic violence, this equates to between £1,000 and £2,900 per child.

Hestia used this independent report to generate a significant media campaign. When the Domestic Abuse Bill was tabled in parliament, the report was used to inform parliamentarians of the importance of the bill reflecting the effects on children, and it was quoted multiple times in debates in parliament.

Magic Breakfast
Magic Breakfast was worried about the end of government funding for school breakfasts for disadvantaged children. They got in touch with PBE alongside their commercial partners Heinz to commission a report on the economic benefits of providing free school breakfasts to disadvantaged children.

PBE analysed evidence, including from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and produced a robust report. This report concluded that providing the Magic Breakfast model of school breakfasts provision for one year to pupils completing KS1 could generate long-term benefits to the economy of £9,200 per child, and if all pupils who are completing KS1 at schools with high disadvantage in England received Magic Breakfast’s model of school breakfast provision it could generate long-term benefits of £2.7 billion.

Magic Breakfast used this report to make the case for school breakfasts in meetings with the Education Minister responsible for school breakfasts ahead of the Budget. It was endorsed by the Scottish Education Minister and the findings were used to generate thousands of letters from members of the public to MPs about the issue, doubling the amount of activism the charity normally saw involved with their issue.

How does it work?

Step 1: If you’d like to receive support, click on the button at the bottom of this page. Please provide as much detail as possible about the issue that you would like PBE’s help in addressing

Step 2: The PBE team will assess the applications made for support and make sure the project is something we can help with. The key criteria we use to assess applications include:

  • The economics: Does the right data exist for us to help?
  • Strategic fit: Are we the best people to help?
  • Capacity: These projects require the charities applying to dedicate some time to them, is that possible?

Step 3: The charity and PBE will meet for a first scoping meeting.

Step 4: Off we go! PBE will assign an economist to assist with the project, run the analysis and write it up, keeping in regular contact with the charity as we go.

Step 5: When the project is completed, PBE will collaborate with the charity to launch the results. This may include sharing a report or article through our website and social media channels, holding an event, or briefing a board. As an independent economic organisation in support of data transparency, PBE is committed to publishing information on every project we complete.

If you have any questions about this process, please email us at [email protected].

What kind of charities can PBE help like this?

To be eligible for our projects, an organisation would normally:

  • Be headquartered and deliver services to beneficiaries in the UK.
  • Be a charity or social enterprise.
  • Have an annual turnover above £100k.
  • Have at least 2 months’ financial reserves.

Please note that we may ask organisations with an annual turnover exceeding £2.5 million for a contribution towards the costs associated with completing the project.

PBE is currently unable to accept applications for advocacy projects as our team is operating at maximum capacity. We will reopen the application process in mid-May 2024.

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