Policy, Government and the Voluntary Sector

April Policy Update

Here's what's been going on in the world of policy over the past month.

Welcome to the April policy update! It’s been a pretty quiet month in the policy world, however, there’s an exciting new volunteering initiative and a few very important surveys that you should be aware of. Here’s a quick DSC round-up of the top news from around the sector…  

Small Charities Advisory Panel launched 

Now more than ever, small charities need support. When the Small Charities Coalition (SCC) closed last year, its crucial services fell onto the Foundation of Social Improvement (FSI) and NCVO. However, with the recent announcement of FSI’s closure, a new panel has been set up to spearhead the voices of small charities. 

The Small Charities Advisory Panel’s mission is to champion the voices and experiences of small charities across the UK, ensuring that they will always be able to access support. The panel is completely independent and has the responsibility of holding NCVO to account for continuing the legacies of both the FSI and SCC. Coming from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, the fourteen members on the panel will bring a depth of knowledge from around the sector.  

The closures of the SCC and FSI have been devastating for small charities, who relied on their ongoing help. On the flip side, this situation has shown how well leaders in the sector work together, brilliant people have come together to make sure that small charities are not left behind.  

Find out more about the panel here. 

State of the Sector results reveal a sector facing huge demand 

With input from 738 social sector organisations, results from the second wave of the State of the Sector survey produced by Pro Bono Economics and Nottingham Trent University’s VCSE Barometer have brought to light the challenges charities are currently facing.  

Running hot, burning out: the state of the charity sector’ confirms that charities are facing an ongoing battle due to the cost-of-living crisis, with many facing high demand, stretched resources and financial difficulties. On top of this, or even as a consequence, charity staff are reporting an increase in workload, as well as issues with retention and recruitment.  

This report confirms some of the issues we’ve been witnessing over the past few years, but the good news is we can use this data to back up what we’ve already been saying: charities are fundamental for supporting people in times of hardship and we need more recognition and support. 

If you’d like to go deeper into this new data, our brilliant Researcher, Ross Hardy, has abstracted everything you need to know from the report. Give it a read here. 

The Big Help Out is encouraging more people to volunteer 

The Big Help Out is a new initiative encouraging people across the UK to volunteer over the Coronation weekend, in the hope that it will inspire people to keep on making a positive contribution to their communities. 

This initiative is really great for charities and community organisations as you can use the app to post any volunteering opportunities or events coming up that you need extra help with. You’ll also be able to reach a wider pool of people in your community who are eager to get involved. The idea is that the more events organised, the bigger the help out will be, so definitely get involved! 

Additionally, as an individual, you can use the Big Help Out app to explore new opportunities to volunteer with community groups and charities in your area. And if you’re eager to get involved in your community today, you don’t have to wait until the 8 May because there’s plenty of opportunities currently on the app for you to get started. Learn more here. 

New research seeks to understand charity shops better 

The Charity Retail Association have asked LynchPin Ltd & Partners to undertake some research to find out how much difference charity shops make to people’s lives. This research is to provide better ways to account for value that results from the activities of charity shops; as understanding this broader value is becoming increasingly important to support lobbying and media work on behalf of the charity retail sector. In addition, information from this research will be used to help charity shops be more accountable for their actions and gather information that can help to improve the service. 

Click here to complete the survey. 

New survey sets out to identify the pay metrics among charity CEOs 

ACEVO has teamed up with Charity Aid Foundation (CAF), The Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO) and Chief Officers 3rd Sector (CO3) to learn more about the sector’s pay and reward structures for CEOs. Hoping to get a closer look into the equality and diversity metrics amongst charity leaders, this crucial survey will say a lot about the sector and its current pay scales.  

Closing at 5pm on Wednesday 10 May, this survey will only take around 20 minutes to complete and your response will help to form a greater understanding of pay equality amongst charity leaders. Complete the survey here.