Third Sector

The ‘big society’ audited

Tom Levitt  |  28 May 2012

The recently published ‘big society audit’ is the first major independent attempt to measure how far, in practice, a genuine transfer of power from government to civil society has taken place in the two years since the term emerged as a theme for the coalition government. In short, the report concludes, it is disappointing: there …

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Raising a billion for charity – but few cheers

Tom Levitt  |  13 April 2012

It’s jubilee year! Yes, 25 years since the instigation of payroll giving, that remarkable means by which you can donate to charity from your earnings and not pay tax on that sum.    In that time Britain’s employees have contributed £1.2bn to charities of their choice … which represents a huge missed opportunity. Payroll giving currently …

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Power to the people

Tom Levitt  |  5 March 2012

Financial services bills do not normally arouse great interest within the third sector of charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations – but in 2012 a brief few days of hope in the bill committee has ended with extreme disappointment. Amendment 72 to the bill would have placed a ‘social investment duty’ on the financial investment …

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Third sector’s new centre-ground

Tom Levitt  |  9 February 2012

Bill Clinton recently wrote a piece in the Financial Times entitled ‘Charity needs capitalism to solve the world’s problems’; do I dimly remember Marx saying something similar about how socialism needed capitalism in order to work, too? The point the former president was making is that we have witnessed what untempered capitalism can do – …

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Building responsible capitalism

Tom Levitt  |  3 January 2012

While Ed Miliband’s new year message does not specifically mention aspirations for the third sector, two priorities stand out: the call for Labour to ‘become a genuine community force’, and ‘an economy which works for all’. The first is obvious. The involvement of Labour activists in community and voluntary organisations and campaigns, fulfilling our historic …

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Urgent planning required

Tom Levitt  |  12 December 2011

Nobody is seriously contemplating a future for public services which does not involve the third sector in an ever more prominent role. The ability of charities to deliver local, personal and cost effective services is understood but their capacity to grow to scale remains in question in many cases. The funding of such services remains …

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Doing more on employee volunteering

Tom Levitt  |  8 November 2011

The chief executive of a charity which organises business mentors to work with struggling charities and social enterprises felt let down when he read the sting in the tail of the Social Action Fund application form. By sponsoring a diversity of innovative approaches to motivate ‘the giving of time, money, knowledge and assets’ the Fund …

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Ed’s onto something

Tom Levitt  |  11 October 2011

The question about the role of business in society that Ed Miliband raised in his Labour conference speech is not as simple as whether a particular company is ‘good’ or ‘bad’; rather it is about their direction and speed of travel, how they interpret their role as corporate citizens, whether they are going where we, …

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Back the White bill

Tom Levitt  |  8 September 2011

Guidance from CLG that councils should not pass on ‘disproportionate cuts’ to the voluntary sector comes six months, almost to the day, since Eric Pickles promised it to the NCVO annual conference. Back in March the sector’s representatives celebrated – though even then it was far too late as budgets were already being drawn up …

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The nature of the cuts

Tom Levitt  |  15 August 2011

The nature of the cuts, as much as the size, is the issue. NCVO reports that there have been nearly a billion pounds of cuts from the voluntary and community sector so far (see here and here) and that funding removed from the sector over the next three years will be £2.8 billion. A few …

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