A report examined how the voluntary and community sector used the Transforming Local Infrastructure (TLI) grant fund. TLI projects ran between March 2012 and September 2013, and allowed organizations to test new ways of working, to develop new products and services to increase their own sustainability, and to provide better support to local charities and community groups. The report highlighted successful practice, and discussed barriers, difficulties, and learning points. Four case studies were published alongside the main report.
Source: Ellie Munro and Barney Mynott, Analysis of Transforming Local Infrastructure, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action
An article said that wherever non-profit organizations fulfilled significant publicly funded service delivery roles, they should have an internal democratic structure conducive to ensuring that services were legitimate, accountable, and of a high effectiveness and quality. Successive governments had adopted strategies that had led to increasing levels of isomorphism ï¿½ with hierarchical, bureaucratic, and private sector governance structures becoming the organizational archetypal norm within the sector, intensifying and strengthening the significant barriers to democratic governance that already existed.
Source: Stephen Elstub and Lynne Poole, 'Democratising the non-profit sector: reconfiguring the state-non-profit sector relationship in the UK', Policy & Politics, Volume 42 Number 3
A paper examined how social value (as a key dimension to outcomes-based commissioning) was being assessed and applied in commissioning processes with the third sector in England, and examined the nature of the evidence required to demonstrate effectiveness. It said that pressures associated with safeguarding vulnerable service users and financial accountability influenced commissioners' requirements for evidence and data from service providers, and that the difficulties in quantifying and measuring social value posed considerable challenges that were likely to fall to the third sector.
Source: Jenny Harlock, From Outcomes-Based Commissioning to Social Value? Implications for performance managing the third sector, Working paper 123, Third Sector Research Centre (University of Birmingham)
A paper outlined a 'four pillar' approach to developing an impact measurement framework for charities.
Source: Anne Kazimirski and David Pritchard, Building Your Measurement Framework: NPCï¿½s four pillar approach, New Philanthropy Capital
An official advisory body began consultation on proposals for legislation regarding social investments by charities. The consultation would close on 18 June 2014.
Source: Social Investment by Charities: A consultation paper, CP216, Law Commission
A new book examined social and political issues within the law relating to charity. The book included themes and topics such as: the state's promotion of charitable purposes; the role of altruism in charity law; charity law and distributive justice; religious and political purposes in charity law; and the response of the liberal state to discrimination in the pursuit of charitable purposes.
Source: Matthew Harding, Charity Law and the Liberal State, Cambridge University Press
A report provided findings from a study of the long-term impact of advice provided by Citizens' Advice Bureaux in the Bath and North East Somerset area of England. It said that 80 per cent of clients sampled showed that CAB advice had led to positive outcomes, which included: the alleviation of poverty through income gain, debts managed and rescheduled; reduction in the impact on mental health and well-being; and the avoidance of homelessness. Using a Social Return on Investment approach, it said that advice had generated returns on a ratio of 1:50 over a 5 year period (that is, for every pound spent on providing services, a value of £50 was generated). The report noted implications for policy, service delivery, and the development of methodologies for measuring impact in the sector.
Source: Michelle Farr, Peter Cressey, Susan Milner, Nick Abercrombie, and Beth Jaynes, Proving the Value of Advice: A study of the impact of Citizens' Advice Bureau services, South West Forum
A report by a committee of MPs said that the Charity Commission continued to perform poorly and was still failing to regulate charities effectively. It said that the commission worked reactively rather than proactively and had failed to use its powers as a regulator. The report said that the commission needed to develop a clear strategy and that a new leadership team needed to create a robust plan for effecting change.
Source: The Charity Commission, Forty-second Report (Session 201314), HC 792, House of Commons Public Accounts Select Committee, TSO
An article examined restructuring in the non-profit social services sector in Scotland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. It focused on three key aspects shaping work in the sector: workers' experience of managerialism; gendered strategies drawn on by workers; and union strategies in the sector, as well as within individual workplaces.
Source: Donna Baines, Sara Charlesworth, and Ian Cunningham, 'Fragmented outcomes: international comparisons of gender, managerialism and union strategies in the nonprofit sector', Journal of Industrial Relations, Volume 56 Number 1
The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided for establishing and maintaining a register of consultant lobbyists; regulation of expenditure and donations for political purposes; the Electoral Commissionï¿½s functions with respect to compliance with requirements imposed by or by virtue of enactments; and a trade unionï¿½s duty to maintain a register of members.
Source: Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration, Cabinet Office/Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, TSO