‘The Red Book of the Voluntary Sector’, which has contributions from a number of prominent Labour parliamentarians and thinkers setting out their vision for the future of charities in the UK, has been launched by the Charites Aid Foundation and charity chief executives body ACEVO at the Labour Party conference. Similar compilations are being published in connection with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party conferences.
ActionAid has crowd-sourced a report on transparency “to improve policy and practice in the not-for-profit sector by bringing in comparative perspectives and highlighting examples of good practice, (working) with others to promote transparency that is meaningful and proportionate”. Collaborators include Amnesty International, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, Bond.
The Law Commission has published its final recommendations following a consultation on the difficulties that might be faced by charity trustees under the current law when making social investments. The recommendations include a new statutory power on social investment as well as connected statutory duties, and improving guidance from the Charity Commission and HM Revenue and Customs.
The government’s new Carers Social Action Support Fund is accepting applications from organisations with plans to expand or develop ambitious social action projects that will help to improve the lives of unpaid family carers.
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM-10: Deputy Head of Data and Business Intelligence, University of Birmingham
The Government has announced a review of the Social Value Act. The review will be led by Lord Young who will be assisted by Chris White MP, Hazel Blears MP, the Federation of Small Businesses and Michael O’Toole. The review will help to determine if the act should be widened to cover contracts for goods and works as well as services and how this can be done in a way that continues to support SMEs and charities and voluntary organisations to bid for public contracts. The review will consider evidence from a range of sources over the coming months and look to report back in early 2015.
Neil Cleeveley, acting Chief Executive of NAVCA, said
“Social value is about changing minds rather than just ticking boxes. It clearly has tremendous potential but it is largely untapped, something the review must address. It has to drive real and lasting change in public commissioning and procurement culture if social value is to realise its full potential.”
“We want the Social Value Act extended to cover all contracts, something they’ve already managed in Birmingham. Public bodies should also be required to publish a short annual social value statement, setting out how they are using the act and what is being achieved. This would make sure it remains a live issue for all public sector commissioners.”
A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research, with help from the Charities Aid Foundation, “attempts to measure the value of charities to British households in a uniquely holistic way, by estimating the overall impact of all the charitable services that a family accesses”.
NCVO’s senior research officer picks up on the idea of charity hot spots and cold spots, which features in the ‘Social Solutions’ report from Centre for Social Justice mentioned here recently. There are issues around data which locates charities by their headquarters, rather than their working locations, and the types of organisations included or excluded.
Guidance has been developed by CollaborationNI to help the boards of voluntary and community organisations apply good governance when working together towards collaboration.
‘Advice to Boards on Collaboration’ is a large pdf available via http://www.nicva.org/resource/advice-boards-collaboration.
The Taskforce on Social Impact Investment, established during the UK’s Presidency of the G8, has produced a number of reports. The government’s news release is a useful starting point, also see the Taskforce’s own website at http://www.socialimpactinvestment.org or Big Society Capital http://www.bigsocietycapital.com/social-investment-research-library. And NCVO has just put online a summary of key points.
The Bank of England’s Chief Economist, and co-founder of Pro Bono Economics, recently gave a lecture on ‘In giving, how much do we receive? The social value of volunteering’. He reckons that the UK’s 15 million or so volunteers could be giving up to 4.4 billion hours per year, the equivalent of nearly ten per cent of the paid hours worked. The lecture considered several different ways of measuring the value generated from volunteering.