Things to take from the NCVO Civil Society Almanac 2016

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April 15, 2016 at 17:27

Wisden…Whitakers…Old Farmer’s…all  great Almanacs, but one of the most valuable statistical compendiums has to be the NCVO Civil Society Almanac, upon which so many of us in the sector depend for insight.

Budget Focus: What was hidden in the numbers for charities?

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March 17, 2016 at 17:48

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook is where the real detail of the Budget resides. What was hidden in the numbers for charities this time around? Here are three things that we should take away.

How is local government using social investment?

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February 29, 2016 at 12:49

A shorter version of this article can be found in Charity Finance Group’s latest Economic Outlook Briefing which can be downloaded (for free) here. This edition’s theme is local government and its changing relationship with the charity sector.   Geetha Rabindrakumar, Head of Social Sector Engagement, Big Society Capital talks about how local authorities are using innovative new social investment methods to tackle long term problems in the midst of a challenging financial climate.  With continued cuts to local government funding, and pressure on services, social investment offers both local authorities and charity providers one tool which could help to catalyse some of […]

What’s in local government’s Christmas stocking?

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December 17, 2015 at 16:56

It’s Christmas and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has unveiled the government’s provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2016-17. The Local Government Finance Settlement is effectively a ‘Local Government Budget’ for the year and its provisional nature means it is open for consultation. Overall, this year’s stocking was filled with a combination of lumps of coals and a couple of potentially tasty oranges (ho, ho, ho). Here are the headlines that charities need to know.

Just one thing, Sir John…

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November 18, 2015 at 15:32

Last week I was delighted to attend NCVO’s Annual Hinton Lecture which saw an excellent speech from former Prime Minister, Sir John Major. Sir John touched on a number of subjects, far too many to consider in one blog post, and you can read the speech here or listen to it here. However one thing that struck me was Sir John’s answer in the Q&A after the speech around the need for investment in preventative services but that the public sector could not be expected to provide this in the coming years.

Tackling some myths on the Spending Review

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September 10, 2015 at 17:21

If you listen very carefully when you walk down Whitehall you’ll hear the grumblings and table thumping of officials as they prepare for the Spending Review due to be announced on the 25th November 2015. The Spending Review is very much akin to a ‘super’ Autumn Statement, it is a review of all public spending to ensure that it meets the government’s priorities in an efficient and cost-effective way over this Parliament. Despite government spending cuts, the voluntary sector received £13.3bn in income from government grants and contracts (local, national and international). So this is going to be an incredibly […]

Financial sustainability won’t be easy for the charity sector

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July 22, 2015 at 09:48

Today, has seen the launch of the review into the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector, conducted by CFG, NCVO, Institute of Fundraising, Locality, NAVCA and Small Charities Coalition. It has been a long piece of work, involving a call for evidence from the voluntary sector, with more than 100 charities responding to a detailed survey; pouring over existing statistics, synthesising various strands of research and forecasting the future of the sector’s finances. The full report, which you can download here, is a wakeup call for the charity sector, government and funders. Although the economy appears on the road to […]

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 […]