Public policy and governance in the wake of Kids Company

A lot has been written about the problems encountered by Kids Company and its eventual collapse, much of it hot air. Coverage of Olive Cooke’s death too. Here’s a selection of the more interesting and useful material spotted so far.

Tackling governance and other possible weaknesses

From NCVO, ‘Trustee Responsibilities: committed to the cause but no finance expert?‘ has some useful tips.

The role of trustees in difficult times – lessons from Beat Bullying closure as well as Kids Company, on The Guardian.

What might charity trustees learn from the closure of Kids Company?‘ from NCVO’s director of public policy (a version of this also appeared in The Guardian).

What do we know about charities’ reserves?‘ looks at how common is it to have low reserves.

Thoughts from the CEO of charity chief executives body ACEVO

Any chief executive must surround themselves with a top quality team to deliver essential administrative functions. Batmangelidh’s approach appears to have relied heavily on her indomitable spirit, force of character and charisma. Without the sufficient collateral support of good governance and sound administration, these things, are, simply, not enough.

The right lesson would be to acknowledge that running an organisation that helps people in the twenty first century requires good governance as well as good intentions – and the Government must support good governance and high quality leadership in the charity sector if it is to prevent future catastrophes.

See full article.

Children and youth sector impact

From The Guardian: More children’s charities could be in jeopardy as funding cuts come on top of rising demand – ‘Kids Company closure triggers warnings of tough line on value for money

From NCVO’s senior research officer, ‘Children’s charities: what the latest data tells us‘. A short piece with key points from, and link to the full version of, an analysis of the children and young people’s voluntary sector done alongside the general UK Civil Society Almanac 2015.

Youth charities and the media: reflections from the storm surrounding Kids Company‘ written by the director of membership and communications for London Youth, a network of community based youth organisations.

Wider sector impact, government policy and media

John Picton from the Charity Law and Policy Unit at the University of Liverpool writes on ‘Why are charities getting a bad press?‘ on BBC News web pages. A good primer for your friends outside the sector?

Based on a Charities Aid Foundation survey taken before the Kids Company saga really blew up, ‘What do charity workers think about Government policies and the challenges for the voluntary sector?‘.