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Use Treasury questions to avoid spending cuts, suggests NPC report

Martin Brookes, chief executive, New Philanthropy Capital
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Use Treasury questions to avoid spending cuts, suggests NPC report

Governance | Tania Mason | 15 Sep 2010

New Philanthropy Capital chief executive Martin Brookes has used Charity Awards winner Volunteers in Child Protection as the basis of a new report that aims to help charities stave off funding cuts in the forthcoming public spending round.

The report, Proving your worth to Whitehall, advises charities to face up to the challenges that lie ahead by subjecting themselves to the same scrutiny as government departments.  “If charities can successfully answer the questions being asked of Whitehall departments, they could build a stronger case for survival.  They might become more resistant to departments looking to make cuts…they could even build a stronger case for being scaled up.”

Brookes (pictured) chose the CSV project, which scooped the overall prize at this year’s Charity Awards where he was a first-time judge, to use as an example in answering the nine Treasury questions that government departments have been asked to use when considering which services to cut.  

He added that although the Treasury questions are not designed with charities in mind, “we think charities are capable of answering them”.

The report advises all membership bodies to ask their members to answer the nine questions. “By collecting these answers, membership organisations can help to provide a more compelling narrative for the sector in the face of cuts.

The questions, which NPC has answered on behalf of ViCP in its report, are these:

1.    Is the activity essential to meet government priorities?
2.    Does the government need to fund it?
3.    Does it provide substantial economic value?
4.    Can it be targeted at those most in need?
5.    How can it be provided more cheaply?
6.    Haw can it be provided more effectively?
7.    Can the activity come from a non-state provider or by citizens, wholly or in partnership?
8.    Can non-state providers be paid to carry it out according to the results they achieve?
9.    Can local bodies, as opposed to central government, provide it?


Download the full report here.

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