Challenge to sector independence calls for united response

A report following on from the work of the Panel of the Independence of the Voluntary Sector has been published, “the fifth annual assessment of the state of health of the voluntary sector”.

Written by the director of think tank Civil Exchange, Caroline Slocock, ‘Independence in Question‘ warns that the independence of the charity sector is at a five year low, leaving an unhealthy imbalance between community, private sector and state power. » Continue reading news item ... “Challenge to sector independence calls for united response”

Organisational updates: youth support, community finance, independence

The Community Development Finance Association has changed its name to Responsible Finance, and has a new website. Two youth support charities, YouthNet and Get Connected, are set to merge. The National Coalition for Independent Action is closing down after nearly 10 years defending independent voluntary action against co-option by the state.

Trustees discretion upheld by Charity Commission statement

The recent judicial review on whether the Charity Commission acted beyond its powers, when it demanded that the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JCRT) would not provide any more funds to the advocacy group Cage, has been dropped. This follows all three parties (Cage, JCRT and the Commission) agreeing a statement that the Charity Commission “has no power to require trustees to fetter the future exercise of their fiduciary duties under its general power to give advice and guidance”. » Continue reading news item ... “Trustees discretion upheld by Charity Commission statement”

Continuing a watch over sector independence

Think tank Civil Exchange is to extend the work carried out by the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector to cover a “critical 18 months”. This period is seen as possibly critical in defining the sector’s future independence.


The Panel’s final report ‘An Independent Mission: the voluntary sector in 2015’ came out in February 2015. Civil Exchange will produce two further annual assessments of the independence of the voluntary sector and its relationship with the state. » Continue reading news item ... “Continuing a watch over sector independence”

Survey on NI voluntary sector independence

A research project run by Ulster University is investigating the independence of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Northern Ireland. It focuses on three overlapping dimensions of independence – Purpose, Voice and Action.

Survey responses will contribute to understanding the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Go to Community NI page for link to the survey and contact details.