At any one time, around half a million adults in the UK report very poor personal wellbeing. They simultaneously feel unhappy, dissatisfied and anxious, and that the things they do in life have little worth. Millions more suffer on some but not all of these fronts. We want to see a country in which no one need endure a sustained period of feeling like this.
At PBE, we use economic analysis and the unique insight provided by our connection to the social sector to help charities, funders, firms and policymakers to collectively tackle the causes and consequences of low personal wellbeing in the UK. We do this in order to end low personal wellbeing in the United Kingdom.
Experts and economists at PBE work on a wide range of issues related to low wellbeing, including mental health, education, employment, financial security, poverty, disability, inequality, volunteering and civil society. In December 2020, PBE launched the Law Family Commission on Civil Society, a two-year programme of groundbreaking research exploring how to unleash the potential of civil society in the 2020s. To date, this initiative has acheived to meaningful policy change on charity sector data, philanthropy, and government’s relationship with the charity sector - with more to come.
One of the ways in which we strive to achieve our mission is by helping the charities, community groups and other purposeful organisations that work every day to improve the lives of people with low wellbeing. When these organisations are stronger, they make a bigger difference to the people in greatest need. We provide data, evidence, analysis and economic insight to charities to help them manage economic instability, to plan more effectively, to better measure, understand and articulate their impact, to influence and inform policy, and to make best use of their data. Whether they benefited from short-term support or in-depth evaluation, the charities that we have worked with rate their likelihood to recommend us at 9.5 out of 10. In 2023 alone, we supported 137 charities and other purposeful organisations, bringing the total we've supported through our charitable services to 504, and the number of services we've delivered to 655.
We have worked closely with the economics profession to achieve this, building relationships between 500 economist volunteers and charities over the last 14 years. We believe economists have a unique role in highlighting the importance of ending low wellbeing, and we are committed to providing all economists who want to do good with the tools to do that.
The history of Pro Bono Economics
How PBE collaborates with diverse groups of people and organisations from across sectors is key to our mission, while being guided by the principles of independence, evidence, clarity and transparency.