policy: EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS
A key aspect of the third sector chief executive’s job is managing external relationships – with funders, Government, the public, private companies and other third sector organisations. Those relationships throw up a wide variety of issues, many of which are top concerns for third sector CEOs.
ACEVO has been forceful in calling for reform of the framework through which Government and the third sector interact: we were instrumental in the establishment of the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office, we have championed the rights of third sector CEOs to engage in political campaigning, we continue to call for the Compact to have more teeth, and are leading the debate on the third sector’s role in devolution and regionalism. We champion our members’ interests to the political parties who could form the next Government. Particularly during the recession, the relationship between Government and third sector is crucial, and we have championed the role our members can play whilst calling for the sector to be given the support it needs.
Funding is another top priority for third sector chief executives. We champion the need for third sector organisations to achieve full cost recovery as a minimum from their funders – be they government commissioners or private donors. We support our members to demonstrate to funders the impact their organisations achieve. We are also forceful advocates for reform of the way Government funds third sector activity. We have pushed strongly for public service reform, championing the role third sector organisations can play in delivering services such as those in health and social care, prisons and probation, and tackling unemployment, but also calling for reform to the commissioning and procurement of those services. We champion the role our members can play in the personalisation of public services, and support members to adapt to the changes such as individual budgets that personalisation can entail.
We advocate reform to the financial environment in which our members’ organisations operate: we continue to call for tax reform on issues that particularly affect the third sector, such as Gift Aid. To improve our members’ access to finance, we continue to push for significant expansion of the social investment market.
Third sector chief executives also lead on the formation and management of partnerships with other third sector organisations or with private companies, and we support them to do so.