Tania Mason is group editor at Civil Society Media.
She has been a journalist for 20-odd years and has specialised in the charity sector since 2003. Her experience has included stints on Third Sector, Marketing and PrintWeek magazines as well as agency work involving court reporting and occasional doorstepping of celebs for the tabloids. She started her career with five years on a daily newspaper in New Zealand before moving to London in 1993.
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Acevo chief executive Stephen Bubb appears to have decided not to publicly disclose his expenses claims but will publish them to Acevo members. In his blog yesterday, Bubb (pictured), who returns from sick leave today, said that the argument that strategic partners of the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) should publish their expenses because they receive some public money, is “false and indeed dangerous”. He wrote: “Acevo is not accountable to the OTS or government. Indeed we are proud to be independent of them. We are accountable to our Acevo members.”
Boris Johnson got more than he bargained for while launching a campaign to promote the work of volunteer groups in the capital, during the 25th anniversary of Volunteers Week. The BBC reported that the Mayor of London took a fall in the River Pool in Lewisham last Thursday whilst helping to remove litter and plants from the river as part of the ‘3 Rivers Clean-Up Project’. Johnson took to the water with the Quaggy Waterways Action Group to help clean the Ravensbourne river system, but had to be aided by onlooking volunteers when he stumbled and lost his footing. The ungainly Mayor was caught on camera wading through the shallow water, before falling chest-deep in a deeper stretch of the river.
Adam Rothwell is to leave Intelligent Giving to become a teacher of history at an independent secondary school in Rutland. His post as director will be filled in the interim by Richard Marsh, until recently director of the ImpACT Coalition. Rothwell explained that he had been toying with the idea of teaching for a while, and felt the time was now right to make a career change.
NCVO chief executive Stuart Etherington claimed £11,997 in expenses last year and £10,394 the year before. Etherington was the first of the sector’s four main umbrella body chief executives to respond to Charity Finance’s request for publication of their last two years’ worth of expense claims. Acevo says it is yet to be persuaded of the value of doing so.
These enormous sums, apparent lack of process or control, the impression of pals lining each others' pockets, and dissemblance (at best) combine to look more than scandalous.
Many grantmaking trusts expect to maintain budgeted levels of spending in 2009-10 but most predict lower income for grantmaking in 2011 and beyond, according to a recent survey of UK trusts and foundations.
The NCVO has secured a £750,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to help it demonstrate how it and other infrastructure bodies benefit the sector. The umbrella body will share the grant with Triangle Consulting and the Third Sector Research Centre, who all bid jointly to BIG’s Basis programme for the funding. The money will be used to devise the Value of Infrastructure programme – a three-year, England-wide project that will, according to the NCVO, “identify the most effective ways for infrastructure agencies to communicate the value of infrastructure to sector organisations and improve the planning and monitoring of their work”.
Charities who wish to appeal against a Charity Commission ruling should not have to traverse the Commission’s “ineffective” internal review procedure before escalating the case to the Charity Tribunal, according to an influential group of sector lawyers. Currently, any charity that objects to a Commission decision can only apply to the Charity Tribunal after it has required the Commission to re-examine its ruling.
Web 2.0 has been variously hailed as the vehicle that would revolutionise charity communications – and as a resource-intensive tool that would be monopolised by a few irritating comment whores and put your organisation’s reputation at risk. But while some charities have no doubt experienced the latter, the Blue Cross animal charity says its All About Pets networking site has proved an unqualified success.