Strategic partnerships announced by Office for Civil Society

Justin Davis Smith, chief executive, Volunteering England

Strategic partnerships announced by Office for Civil Society2

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 22 Mar 2011

Acevo, Navca, NCVO, Volunteering England and the Institute of Fundraising will be part of the Office for Civil Society’s final strategic partner programme ending in 2013/14.  

The Office for Civil Society announced today that it has chosen nine organisations to see out its strategic partner programme over the next three years.

The organisations will share £8.2m over the three-year period. The chosen organisations and funding breakdown for 2011/12 can be found here.

Volunteering England and NCVO, who both received the highest funding awards, will see their strategic partner income almost halved in 2011/12 compared with 2009/10.

Chief executive of Volunteering England, Justin Davis Smith (pictured) commented that: “Volunteering England is pleased to be recognised as a strategic partner of the Office for Civil Society.
“We are relieved that, after the uncertainty of the past few months, we now know where we stand and are ready to carry on with our mission. 

"Our proposal to OCS included closer working relationships with a range of national bodies. We have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with NCVO to explore sharing back office services and to collaborate in research on giving. We will be working with Acevo on issues about the role of chief executives in volunteer management and with Voice4Change England on diversity within the volunteering movement, as well as developing our ongoing partnerships across the sector."

Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, said: “We have had to reduce the number of strategic partners, not least to focus resource on frontline services. However this is a good mix of partners who will represent the sector well. I look forward to working with them to help the sector manage change and maximise the opportunities that will flow from the Big Society agenda.”

Voice4Change England, which will not receive anything under the programme, said it will ask the Office for Civil Society to explain why no equality groups will remain as partners. Voice4Change received £275,953 from the programme this year and three other equalities organisations also received funds. But not one equality organisation was among the nine chosen to continue.

An OCS spokesman said an equality impact assessment had been carried out. "We have ensured that strategic partners are able to represent diverse communities," he said.


Strategic partners funding breakdown


ACEVO in partnership with Euclid Network and New Philanthropy Capital


Community Foundation Network in partnership with Association of Charitable Foundations


Institute of Fundraising


Locality (new name from April 2011 resulting from DTA and Bassac merger)






Social Entrepreneurship Partnership (School for Social Entrepreneurs,  UnLtd, CAN, Plunkett Foundation and Social Firms UK)


Social Enterprise Coalition in partnership with Cooperatives UK


Volunteering England



They will each receive the full amount in 2011/12, three-quarters of the amounts in 2012/13, and half the amount in 2013/14.

P Martin
project manager (Unpaid)
Longhill Consortium Ltd
25 Mar 2011

Though I have been active in a voluntary capacity for over thirteen years and have raised over £1m for the deprived estate I live and work on, I have never heard of your organisation. Don't feel too put out, I haven't heard of most of the other 'Partners' either, but that begs the question, given governments objective of empowering people at the coal face, why are most of these organisations unknown to people working at grass roots level?

Stephen Pidgeon
Ideas Engineer
23 Mar 2011

As a member, I'm very proud the Institute of Fundraising has been recognised for its contribution to civil society. It does a great job and additional money will allow for a number of new projects. This is great news.


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