Today’s report from the Lords Select Committee on charities is a benchmark document upon which the Government and the sector can develop significant partnerships to deliver greater benefits to wider society.
In particular the charity and social leaders’ network ACEVO embraces the report’s recommendations around the importance of effective executive leadership.
ACEVO is committed to being in the vanguard of Recommendation 8, working with Government and other infrastructure organisations and relevant bodies to develop leadership training, development and support.
The identification of the acute need to ramp up innovation and digital skills is something recognised within the sector and ACEVO stands ready to assist in their collaborative delivery. The committee’s assertion that charities should have closer involvement with the devolution process at every level is welcomed.
Whilst the report understandably focuses on the challenges facing the small and medium sized organisations which make up over 97% of the sector, it is important to recognise that large charities are key partners in achieving many of the recommendations outlined in the report. ACEVO maintains that one size does not fit all and that there is room for all but is heartened by the committee’s emphasis on collaboration.
The committee’s focus on the need to overhaul central and local government commissioning processes goes some way to addressing concerns about imbalance. In particular the reiteration of the need for social value to be included in commissioning is to be commended, particularly in the sectors’ ability – be it among large or small organisations – to compete with the private sector.
ACEVO also welcomes the committee’s affirmation that a healthy society is dependent on robust charity campaigning. It is further encouraged by the observations that the Charity Commission should be mindful of the need to support charity, to be representative of the sector it regulates and to seriously reconsider its proposals to impose charges on charities and their donors.
ACEVO endorses the committee’s call for stronger collaboration between infrastructure bodies to raise awareness among charities of the support available, and improve the accessibility and coherence of this support.
ACEVO chief executive Vicky Browning said:
This is a comprehensive and progressive report which addresses itself to many issues the charity and social enterprise sector has been raising for some time. It’s particularly welcome that the committee doesn’t just air the issues but also offers real change.
I’m naturally pleased to see the emphasis on the need for strong leadership and good governance, as well as recommendations around uptake of digital technology, better commissioning, stronger collaboration, a robust defence of the role of charities in campaigning and a call for better engagement between government and the charity sector.