Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

Charities must ‘demonstrate value for money’ warns local umbrella chief

The chief executive of Voluntary Norfolk has warned charities that they need to respond to current challenges, as the organisation revealed up to one third of voluntary organisations in the area faced closure.

In an open letter to the organisation’s members, Brian Horner reiterated “the importance of being able demonstrate value for money”, and added that “there are some questions we should ask ourselves”.

He wrote: “The voluntary sector has traditionally argued that it is good at collaboration but whenever I have challenged the extent of this and how far that collaboration has truly developed I often find colleagues agreeing with me that the actual practice does not match the rhetoric.”

Adding: “If large national organisations (NCVO and Volunteering England) think it’s the right thing to do shouldn’t we all be asking ourselves the same question; including Voluntary Norfolk?”

Survey results

Following New Philanthropy Capital’s poll of national charities, Voluntary Norfolk sent out a survey to a sample of 300 members to find out how the situation compared locally.

It received 39 responses and Horner described the results as a “mixed picture”.

Almost one third of respondents said that they might close in the next year compared to 9 per cent of those surveyed by NPC but the number of organisations planning to cut services (50 per cent) was less than the national figure (65 per cent).

Here are some of the findings:

  • 66.7 per cent of respondents have used, or are planning to use reserves to supplement income
  • 68.6 per cent of respondents are planning to make greater use of volunteers to help maintain services
  • 66.7 per cent of respondents are planning to collaborate more closely with other charities
  • 50 per cent of respondents have had to cut or will cut services as a result of financial pressure
  • 37.1 per cent of respondents made/will need to make staff redundant as a result of financial pressure
  • 28.6 per cent of respondents said they thought they were at risk of closing in the next 12 months
  • 54.8 per cent of respondents said they were not optimistic about the future

This article was taken from www.civilsociety.co.uk – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/13107