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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How hungry are you? Re-thinking your charity’s risk appetite might be a chance worth taking

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February 22, 2013 at 11:56

Does your charity have a fully-functioning ‘risk strategy’? Is it integrated into the decision-making process at all levels throughout your organisation? No? Fear not, for you’re not alone – in fact, you’re far from it.  When a similar question was asked at Crowe Clark Whitehill’s 2013 INGO Conference last week, not a single hand was raised. However, an informative session by Pesh Framjee of CCW and Gaynor Miller of Christian Aid, highlighted why, at a time when charities are having to innovate to survive and the one constant is change, rethinking approach to risk is arguably more important than ever […]

Public service delivery is risky business

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January 2, 2013 at 12:49

The end of the year saw government announcing a series of master classes to aid charities bidding for contracts to better understand the new public service delivery environment.  Due in Spring 2013, this complements the Commissioning Academy which aims to improve the relationship from the other side, helping commissioners understand how to interact with civil society. Both are welcome, much needed, and should help to improve understanding of the challenges and priorities for both parties – in particular informing their risk profiles. Although it’s a sweeping generalisation, it is fair to say that both charities and local authorities can be […]

CIOs: An end in sight…

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November 27, 2012 at 12:02

The Small Charitable Donations Bill isn’t the only thing happening that’s good for charities this week – we also, after a wait the  equivalent of the Marathon de Sables, have real progress on CIOs (Charitable Incorporated Organisations).  With their statutory instruments finally seeing the light of day and up for debate somewhere in the quieter corridors of Westminster today – in the mysteriously named Third Delegated Legislative Committee no less –   this new legal form looks likely to overcome its last outstanding hurdles. The slow introduction has been a source of frustration for many charities, some of whom unfortunately could […]

Making the most of your people

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November 16, 2012 at 16:50

We’ve been reviewing the top risks in charities for 11 years now, and it’ll be no surprise that year on year income reduction and uncertainty top the pile.  The advice in response here is always to review income streams and diversify if possible.  A familiar mantra – one that’s easy to say, but in reality difficult to achieve as often the right business practices, time and skills are needed to see it through. There are plenty of indications that charities have been trying to put themselves on a more sustainable financial footing by looking more closely at their business practices, […]