Monthly Archives: October 2010

Pensions: the dormant volcano?

George Osborne indicated during the comprehensive spending review that he expects to take up most of the recommendations in Lord Hutton’s interim report on pensions, published earlier this month. Hutton’s review, commissioned by Osborne earlier this year, admitted in effect that the government could not afford its pension debts, and recommended steps to reduce costs…. Read more »

Was the £100m Transition Fund due to be allocated to the sector anyway?

The dust has settled a little following the comprehensive spending review, and it may be time to take a look at whether the Office of Civil Society did well or badly out of it. At first glance, it looks like it suffered worse than average. Three years ago, when it was the Office of the… Read more »

Nice transition fund – what about the rest?

There are a couple of striking things about the new hundred-million-pound Transition Fund for the voluntary sector, announced in the yesterday comprehensive spending review yesterday. The first is that it happened at all, given the overall 19 per cent cut in public spending over the next four years. The civil society minister, Nick Hurd, has… Read more »

Hand-holding by the Office For Civil Society

The Office for Civil Society issued two short documents last week. There was a consultation about how it should take forward capacity-building in the sector, and a policy statement about building a stronger civil society. Does the policy document add greatly to the sum of human knowledge? Not really. It was mostly a recapitulation of… Read more »

Stereotyping beneficiaries can have adverse consequences, but let’s not get over-sensitive

So, 57 per cent of Third Sector readers do not agree that it is acceptable to stereotype beneficiaries when making fundraising appeals, according to last week’s online poll. And I have to say that I agree with this majority – to a point. First of all, I must say something in agreement with the findings… Read more »

Does every little really help?

There has been a lot of buzz on Twitter this past week about a website which offers the chance to donate small amounts of change to the charities of your choice.  Ploink!, which launched last year, is free to join and lets you donate as little or as much as you like to up to… Read more »

Why aren’t there more social entrepreneurs?

At a social investment conference last week, a number of lenders and intermediaries stood up to say there aren’t enough good businesses in the sector to accommodate all the people wanting to lend them money. They accepted there were good reasons for this: most social businesses are relatively new, and will take longer to grow… Read more »

Cameron needs to start getting the party’s rank and file excited about the big society

The big society was the big theme of the fringe events at the Conservative Party conference this year.  All kinds of groups managed to shoehorn the phrase into their events: health charities, think tanks, social enterprise groups, local government bodies, housing firms and welfare-to-work providers all used the magic words. So did Starbucks, by hosting… Read more »

Could lifetime legacies fit the bill if Gift Aid reform fails to satisfy?

In the very near future, a group of third sector bodies will put forward a series of recommendations to the Treasury for Gift Aid reform. Sadly, these look likely to be relatively modest, compared with what sector figures once hoped to achieve. And as a result, some sector figures are looking around for other models… Read more »