Voluntary Sector Cuts

Last May, after the initial £6 billion cuts to publicly funded services were announced, we launched “Crowdsourcing the Cuts”. This was an exercise which aimed to gather intelligence from our members and other parts of the VCS on what was being cut, and what impact it was having on them and their beneficiaries.

After the Spending Review and the local government spending settlement at the end of last year, we thought it would be a good time to relaunch the exercise – as organisations would soon be finding out their funding situation for the 2011/12 year. From speaking to other sector infrastructure bodies, including Volunteering England, NAVCA, ACEVO and regional bodies, it was clear that we weren’t the only organisation interested in gathering this information and using it to campaign about the cuts and support those organisations affected.

So ,together we set about creating a collaborative project, culminating in the Voluntary Sector Cuts website. The site is promoted by all the partners, and the information reported will be used by all of them.

The site has done depressingly well since it was launched last week – more than 110 cuts have been reported to the site, worth over £35 million to the reporting organisations. You can download all the cuts reported so far from Google spreadsheets, or follow cuts as they are reported with @vscuts on twitter.

To mark the end of crowdsourcing the cuts I gave a presentation to NCVO’s Governance Forum on the results found so far. This was followed by a lively discussion of the impact of cuts on the organisations represented, and what the implications were for governance of the sector.

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Avatar photo David Kane was formerly NCVO’s Senior Research Officer. He discusses open data and emerging trends in the voluntary and community sector and wider civil society.

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