DSC policy update – week commencing 1 February 2021

DSC Researchers, Abigail O'Loughlin and Jessica Threlfall, round up the policy news from around the sector.

After what felt like the longest January on record, it has finally come to an end! Here is some news you may have missed from Jan:

Karl Wilding leaves NVCO

Karl Wilding has stepped down as chief executive of NVCO after 18 months in the role. In a statement released on 26th January, Karl explained he believes “new leadership will be able to lead the necessary cultural change NCVO is determined, rightly, to achieve”. The decision comes after NCVO has recently completed a strategy review and organisational restructure. Sarah Vibert, NCVO’s director of membership and engagement has been appointed as interim CEO. After 23 years with NCVO, Karl stated that he is leaving it in “safe hands”. Read the full statement here.

The resignation of Karl Wilding has sparked conversation about the infrastructure of the charity sector. The former interim CEO at ACEVO, Asheem Singh, was inspired by the resignation to write an article criticising the usefulness and impact of charity umbrella bodies. He argued the time has come for a single organisation to represent charities on big, cross sector issues, as to avoid being ‘ignored into oblivion’. This article has received criticism, including from our trustee Andrew Purkis and Kathy Evans, the Chief Executive of Children England, who have written responses in defence of the challenges faced by umbrella bodies and highlighting the harmful impact a monopoly power could have on the diversity of the sector.

Guidance for charities on bidding for public contracts

The government has released new guidance for charities that are bidding for public contracts, suggesting they should emphasise their ability to bring value for money, quality and social value to the process. In the blog written by Crown Representative Claire Dove, she stated that “the expertise of charities, public service mutuals and social enterprises (‘VCSEs’) means they are often ideally placed to help create compassionate, responsive and efficient public services”. Claire warned against complacency when tendering for contracts, stating that “no matter how good you are, you will not win in a competition unless you make your strengths clear in the assessment”. Amongst the many recommendations suggested in the blog, was the idea that charities should use “plain English” and avoid “jargon and complex technical language”.

The National Emergencies Trust is approaching nearly £100 million worth of funds raised for its Coronavirus Appeal

The appeal was launched on 18th March last year just before the first lockdown was announced. Since then, over £85 million has been allocated to support people that have been impacted by the pandemic across the UK.

DSC trustee, Kashif Shabir appointed CEO of Muslim Aid

Congratulations to our trustee Kashif Shabir who has been appointed as Chief Executive of Muslim Aid. This interesting article on Third Sector details some of his journey leading to this position and his future hopes for Muslim Aid.

DSC’s Armed Forces Charities’ Support for Families report was launched on the 26th Jan

Funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, the report details an investigation of the amount and types of support armed forces charities give to families in the armed forces community. It also shows some of the practical challenges they face when delivering support to families, such as identifying beneficiaries and finding the resources to meet their diverse needs. Rhiannon, Chester and Stuart designed an infographic and factsheet to accompany the report for anyone wanting to get straight to the good bits.

New grant making trusts and foundations registered is the highest in eight years

An article published on Civil Society shows that the number of new grant making trusts and foundations registered on the Charity Commission in 2020 was the highest in eight years. More than 1,700 grant-giving charitable trusts and foundations were registered in 2020. The article quotes Andrew Wigley, of The Cape Partnership, who said ‘the pandemic of 2020 may be the catalyst for a golden era in British philanthropy’. However, further research will be needed to determine the true impact of the pandemic on new registrations. Nevertheless, it is clear that charities are still high in demand and #nevermoreneeded.