Earlier this month the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator released its review of the operation of arms length external organisations, or charities that are subject to council control or influence.
Although the report was initiated in response to concerns about potential risks to Aleos, it actually has a positive conclusion – namely that this type of charity has a lot to offer the sector, local councils, and the general public.
The Centre for Policy Studies came out last month with a report criticising larger charities for a lack of transparency over the extent of their public funding.
The CPS is the right-wing think tank set up by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph to champion the rolling back of the state. It reveals its bias with talk of charities “refusing” to provide the information, even though they meet the Sorp’s accounting requirements. Beneath the report’s disingenuous concern about the sector’s viability lurks an agenda about outing the kind of public spending through charities that the CPS would hope to axe.
In recent weeks, the news has been dominated by stories of A&E waiting times and pressure on the NHS. Pledges of additional funding and claims to be the only party who can tackle the problem are rife. But there is another side to the problem, which is the lack of funding for social care, which has crept in to only some of the media coverage and government debate on the issue.
Rob Wilson, the new Minister for Civil Society, has now been in post since September but is he leading in the right direction for the sector and social entrepreneurs? I believe so.
For the last five years, we have co-chaired the charity Grandparents Plus. A national charity which champions the role of grandparents and the wider family in children’s lives, Grandparents Plus was founded by Jean with Michael Young – who had also founded the consumer charity Which? – in 2001.
This article by Ottavia Spaggiari was originally published in the November edition of the Italian magazine Vita, under the title ‘After the Ice Bucket Challenge and Sober October, here comes the November of the whiskers’. Translation by Sam Burne James.
After the Ice Bucket Challenge experience made for a long, hot summer for fundraising, viral crazes have continued to sweep the not-for-profit sector, in the Anglo-Saxon world in particular.
A report on charity investment published by Acevo this week will doubtless prompt many of Third Sector’s readers to look again at how their charity’s reserves are invested.
In a financial world full of complex jargon and products, it is tempting for charities to leave investment matters to those board members and senior executives who are most comfortable with the professional investment arena. But this would be a mistake.
Over the past few years there has been a growing interest in society, or charity, lotteries. The Health Lottery brought the complex regulatory situation into wider consciousness. Our own report, A Chance to Give, researched sector and public views. Most recently the Centre for Economics and Business Research report looked at the economic case for deregulation. All this has resulted in an inquiry by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee and a soon-to-be-announced UK government consultation.
In June 2013, I began work as the chief executive of a small charity. It was a steep though enjoyable learning curve. Then, four months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
There are many sweeping statements that I can let slide, however factually dubious they may be. Indeed, those who know me would say I’m rather fond of them myself. However, one particularly sweeping statement in last week’s Third Sector editorial on the subject of Transforming Rehabilitation - “Always in people’s minds is the cautionary tale of the Work Programme” - needs just a little unpacking.