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Acevo and Navca say large and small charities need to work together

Acevo and Navca say large and small charities need to work together
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Acevo and Navca say large and small charities need to work together2

Governance | Vibeka Mair | 20 Sep 2012

The chief executives of Acevo and Navca have both delivered speeches today calling for an end to divisions between large and small charities.

The two umbrella bodies have announced a closer working relationship to break down barriers between different-sized charities.

Speaking to a voluntary sector audience in Devon, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, said that the charity sector needed to unite in a tough climate:

“Our sector is divided - two stereotypes are at play,” he said. “Big charities are often seen as the third-sector equivalent of Kraft - predatory, foreign, corporate, while small charities are stereotyped as the equivalent of the village shop in the League of Gentlemen - loud, incompetent, and ever-so-slightly weird.

“We need to acknowledge that both stereotypes are false, that both large and small organisations share common cause, that we are platoons in the same army. Division and argument do not help our beneficiaries.”

Joe Irvin, chief executive of Navca, made similar comments to Bromley’s local voluntary sector today, saying that although reduced funding and competitive contracts could turn charities against each other, the sector needs to stick together to support the people who need the most help.

Acevo and Navca plan to meet later this year to explore ways of breaking down barriers between big and small charities. 

 

Carl Allen
20 Sep 2012

Perhaps better to attend to the still rudimentary state of synergy between infrastructure bodies at this point.

Pauline Broomhead
CEO
FSI
20 Sep 2012

I don't believe in anyone’s mind there is any doubt that where it matters both large and small charities share the same air space. We all share the same values, we all believe passionately in the causes our charities address and we all have a social mission to address the inbalances of the world around us.

However, to say there are no differences is quite wrong, when delivering the FSI’s free services I see hundreds of small charities each week, in fact yesterday I was with 60 small charity leaders, each one of them would attest the fact that they do not have the resources that so many of the larger organisations have.

I worked in a large charity for many years, one small example of the difference would be when bidding for a contract and finding out that someting as everyday as TUPE was involved, in the large charity it was just a short telephone call with the legal department to check out what I needed to consider, for a small charity it’s a whole different ball game. This was further highlighted to me yesterday when one small charity asked "how on earth do I keep on top of policy - how do I know my data protection or safeguarding policies are up to date". These organisations strive each and everyday to deliver their services to their communities and they are creative in the way they operate but it would be wrong to say they are on a level playing field when it comes to the back up and resource needed in a fast moving world.

If we seriously want to break down ‘barriers’ the first thing they will need to consider is how do we support the smaller charities to gain the resources needed to continue to deliver the amazing work they do and where necessary, due to beneficiary need, increase those services.

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