History perspective on sector challenges

A Charity Aid Foundation’s blog item (Crisis and Response: What history tells us about the challenges facing UK charities) has pointed us in the direction of the fairly new ‘HistPhil’ – a blog on the History of Philanthropy (started June 2015).

HistPhil has been running a series on philanthropy and the state, and in particular a set of articles on governmental reform of charities within the UK, with titles:

Other pieces of interest include ‘When Philanthropy Engaged the Elderly Humanistically‘. » Continue reading news item ... “History perspective on sector challenges”

Lessons from researching charity in Georgian times

A new feature article on Voluntary Action History Society’s web pages, ‘Charity in the Georgian Era: Lessons for Today?‘.

A couple of slightly random quotes:

In the eighteenth century, people were divided about whether the upsurge of charitable activity was evidence of nationwide benevolence or the social fabric coming apart.


The Georgian era teaches us, finally, that despite repeated warnings not to give money to beggars in the street, for many the face-to-face, individual encounter remains at the mystical heart of what true charity means.

 » Continue reading news item ... “Lessons from researching charity in Georgian times”

Volunteers Week round-up

Our round-up of items published in connection with Volunteers Week, which runs 1st to 7th June.

From NCVO’s discussion pages:

How many of you know where the European Capital of Volunteering is this year? Or perhaps more to the point, how many of you knew there was such a thing as a European Capital of Volunteering.

Bringing Volunteering Home‘ suggests a serious challenge to get this title bestowed on the UK for a future year. » Continue reading news item ... “Volunteers Week round-up”

Taking steps to preserve charity archives

The newly appointed part-time researcher on a project which wants to help charities preserve their archives has written ‘Preserving your charity’s archives: first steps‘ for NCVO’s website.

The five year ‘Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain’ project is supported by the British Academy. There will be a launch event on 5th June in London, aimed at voluntary sector organisations of all sizes, especially those who need some advice about managing their archives. » Continue reading news item ... “Taking steps to preserve charity archives”

Taking another tack on voluntary action studies

A new journal is aiming to take the study of voluntary action in a new direction. A group of academics and practitioners have decided to do something about their growing dissatisfaction and launch ‘Critical Studies in Voluntary Action’. 

They have three main issues with the perceived current approach:

  • An excessive focus on the bureaucratically organised and professionally managed agencies which concentrate on delivering various kinds of social welfare services.
 » Continue reading news item ... “Taking another tack on voluntary action studies”

Understanding history of voluntary action

A new blog site ‘Teaching Voluntary Action History’ has been set up in advance of an event on the subject in February, at https://teachvah.wordpress.com/.

Teaching Voluntary Action History seeks to link academics working on a range of topics with the common element of voluntarism, charities or voluntary organisations. The one-day workshop is due to run on 28th February in London, see https://teachvah.wordpress.com/events/teaching-voluntary-action-history-28th-february-2015/.