Taken for granted? The needs of small voluntary and community organisations in a big society era
This report examines the ways in which small voluntary and community sector organisations utilise and receive funding, and recommends steps to ensure that the ‘big society’ agenda neither passes these organisations by, nor squeezes them out of their vital community functions.
As the government rolls out its programme for the ‘big society’ and interest turns towards the balance of responsibility between the state and society, small voluntary and community organisations have a particularly crucial role to play. However, due to their size they lack voice in national and voluntary sector debates.
The report highlights the need for more flexible approaches to funding to help sustain these organisations. It recommends:
- Intelligent grants: Local authorities should think more creatively about how they can use and target their grants to small voluntary and community organisations to support them at key turning points, and they should consider bolstering endowment funds.
- Access to microfinance: microfinance products should be designed specifically for VCS organisations, and if the government should consider allocating capital through Big Society Capital to ensure that it meets its targets for 25 per cent of contracts to be delivered by small organisations.
- Supporting organisations at key turning points: Support organisations should promote awareness of microfinance and funding opportunities available to small organisations in their area, with funding from central government.
- Intelligent commissioning: The government should act upon the recommendations of the Mutuals Taskforce. In addition, an awareness-raising campaign is essential to the success of the Social Value Act 2012.
Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North
You may be interested in...
IPPR in the news
Making it hard for politicians to ignore the young
Telegraph - 07 Mar 2014£100bn red alert over green energy gap
The Independent - 06 Mar 2014Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
The Independent - 06 Mar 2014Will Straw on moving beyond coal power
Guardian - 04 Mar 2014
Ed Cox on Why London is such a powerful force in the UK (2.55 in)
BBC Today - 04 Mar 2014The north holds the key to a better economy
Manchester Everning News - 04 Mar 2014Net migration soars despite Cameron's pledge
Daily Telegraph - 28 Feb 2014NEET generation
The Independent - 27 Feb 2014
More BBC indie commissions, report says
Radio Today - 27 Feb 2014BBC boss wants to extend licence fee to cover iPlayer
Daily Mirror - 27 Feb 2014Scotland: Vote 'Yes' and lose the BBC
The Independent - 27 Feb 2014Indy Scotland would be a vote to “leave” the BBC
The Scotsman - 27 Feb 2014
Tony Hall: extend licence fee to cover iPlayer
The Guardian - 27 Feb 2014Maria Miller says independent Scotland would lose the BBC
The Guardian - 27 Feb 2014Hall vows to protect drama under further cost-cutting
The Stage - 27 Feb 2014Hall proposes licence fee extension to include iPlayer
BBC News Online - 27 Feb 2014
Harman at OMC: 'Daily Mail should apologise'
The Guardian - 27 Feb 2014Time to break London's grip on creative industries
BBC Wales Today - 25 Feb 2014UK's creative industries 'must back regional and ethnic diversity'
The Guardian - 25 Feb 2014Creative industries need to be freed from London's 'closed shop'
WalesOnline - 25 Feb 2014