How much do we know about PbR?

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June 19, 2015 at 18:16

Today the National Audit Office (NAO) have published their report on the Government’s use of Payment by Results (PbR). I have drawn out some of the key points of relevance to charities. Contracts are an important source of income for charities Charities play a key role in supporting people and communities.By being close to their service users, charities often have a unique perspective on their needs and how to adapt services to meet those needs. My colleague Andrew O’Brien has written previously on the growing consensus that charities can play a key role in delivering preventative services. In this way, charities are […]

VCSE review points the way to better commissioning

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April 2, 2015 at 12:28

The Joint review of investment in VCSEs in the health and care sector (VCSE Review) last month published its interim report, which you can read online. The interim report is well worth a read, and highlights many of the problems that charities have been raising with public bodies and Ministers for several years. However, here are three key things that I have taken away from this report: 1.        It’s time to really open up commissioning to the sector Something that is often forgotten in the discussion about public services is that charities are not only service delivery organisations. Charities carry […]

Can charities help end the ‘pushmi-pullyu’ of local government spending to support prevention?

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March 16, 2015 at 09:14

The recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on ‘The cost of the cuts: the impact on local government and poorer communities’ makes for fascinating reading. There is a lot of analysis and statistics on how the frontloading of government spending cuts on local government have hit services and communities, as well as the voluntary sector. While there are a number of worrying issues highlighted by this report, from the point of the view of charities and the sector’s finances, the most worrying was the squeeze on spending on preventative services and the lack of capacity of local authorities to undertake full […]

Measurement: A double-edged sword for social value

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February 16, 2015 at 09:52

We’re all positivists now. Although there are a few ‘heretics’, generally, it seems that the march of the measurers has been a successful one. Nearly every charity that I speak with is interested in measurement and finding ways to report on its impact, though most are held back by the lack of time, resources or experience. Overall, this is a step forward. But we should also be cautious. Measurement is inherently idiosyncratic given the diversity of the sector and vast range of different outcomes that they are trying to achieve. This is not merely diversity by issue, but also diversity […]

Fog of uncertainty makes post-election planning difficult for charities

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February 4, 2015 at 14:20

Today the Institute for Fiscal Studies unveiled its Green Budget 2015. The Green Budget is an attempt by the IFS to analyse the impact of spending cuts, tax rises and other policy decisions of the government and parties. It is well worth of a read (though perhaps not all 300 pages of it!), but I think that there are three key messages for charities. 1)  Government spending with charities is likely to be squeezed by more than we think There has been a lot written about the impact of government spending cuts on the sector over the past few years, and […]

Looking back on 2014

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December 9, 2014 at 16:00

As we approach the end of 2014, it’s time for some reflection. The year has whizzed by shockingly quickly. It may have been a year of great change, but looking back to last December, I see that as a sector we are still asking for some of the same things, having the same debates, and opinions don’t appear to have moved on. Within the restrictions of this introduction, let me share a few thoughts. As an organisation we’ve experienced great change and huge shifts at CFG HQ, with new faces, a new approach and new activities. Whilst some of that […]

Vision for sector post-2015. What did the politicians have to say at the CFG Annual Conferece?

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May 19, 2014 at 17:13

Following our overwhelmingly successful Annual Conference last Thursday, back at CFG-HQ we are now digesting the political nuggets that were debated in our closing plenary by the Minister for Civil Society (Nick Hurd) and Shadow Minister (Lisa Nandy) for Civil society, a key Lib Dem peer (Baroness Barker), the outspoken Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the CEO of NCVO, Sir Stuart Etherington. A year out from the next General Election, we asked them to tell us what they saw as the key issues that will face the sector post-2015, giving us the perfect insight […]

Managing in a Downturn Report Reflections….

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April 11, 2014 at 15:08

Yesterday saw the launch of the seventh ‘Managing in Downturn’ report – a survey series that we have run in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and PwC since the start of the economic downturn in 2008. The launch event itself was a lively affair with reflections of the findings from: Andrew Sentance, PwC’s Chief Economist; Mark Astarita, the IoF Chair; and our own Jane Tully. Highlights included Andrew Sentance’s weather map of the global economic outlook for 2014 (sunny intervals for the UK!) and Mark Astarita’s optimism that the baby boomer generation’s large capital assets will have significant implications […]

The significance of the Spending Review

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June 25, 2013 at 13:38

In 2010 the Spending Review set departmental expenditure limits (DELs) from 2011/12 to 2014/15, outlining details of savings in the region of £86bn over that time. Tomorrow, nearly three years later and not much closer to eliminating the structural deficit, a new Spending Review will set DELs for the year 2015/16, aiming to achieve another £11.5bn of cuts. The next general election is set for 2015 and Labour has already said they will honour DELs set for the 2015/16 financial year.  The significance of this review is not necessarily the length of the period to which it refers though, but […]

De-regulation for the sake of it?

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March 14, 2013 at 12:10

The Government’s ‘red tape challenge’ sounds like some sort of physical assault course; conjuring images of hapless workers wading through paperwork, red tape tied round their ankles, tripping over giant copies of the tax code and stumbling into open filing cabinets spilling over with old employment contracts.  Underneath the rhetoric, the implication is that the current state of ‘regulation’ hinders business and innovation; the Government wants us to tell them what bits to scrap.  Unless talking about bankers, the idea that regulation is a catalyst for fair business is all but lost.  This is despite the fact that we have […]