Public services news round up: May 2017

NCVO’s General Election manifesto

With the general election only two weeks away, we’ve set out how the next government can enable charities and volunteers to play an even bigger role in our society and make a greater contribution to our economy.

Our manifesto makes specific asks in five key areas:

My blog post explains what we’d like to see the next government do to make it easier for charities and volunteers to support our public services. This includes setting targets for the management and development of volunteering, appointing senior public sector leaders as volunteering champions, and encouraging more grant giving commissioning for social value.

Charities delivering ESF funded projects

With the UK poised to leave the European Union, uncertainty remains about the replacement of the European Social Funds (ESF) and the vital support they provide to disadvantaged communities across the country.

To help demonstrate to the next government that investing in employment and skills support for hard-to-reach communities represents good value for money, we’re looking for examples of where ESF funded programmes have delivered impact. If you’ve been involved in the delivery of an ESF funded programme, please drop me an email.

You can also join this campaign to raise the profile of this issue in the general election and with the new government.

A better understanding of where government funding is going

The government has decided to start using charity and Companies House numbers to identify which organisations have been awarded Crown Commercial Service contracts. My blog post on government funding explains why this is important, both in terms of understanding how charities are funded and improving the effectiveness of public services.

New report from NPC: two in three charities subsidising service delivery

As part of their State of the Sector programme, New Philanthropy Capital have published a new report Charities Taking Charge: Transforming to Face a Changing World. The report highlights how two in three charities surveyed are subsidising the delivery of public service contracts, while over half report having to turn down contracts because the operational risk is too high. However, like us, they also note how pressure on local commissioners and increased devolution presents some opportunities for the sector going forward.

Volunteers Week 1-7 June

It’s just one week until Volunteers’ Week 2017, the annual event to celebrate the difference volunteers make to every community across the country!

We have nearly 300 events on our map so far- everything from barbecues to theatre productions- get your event on our map now. Everything you need for a successful event is in our resource pack, available on the Volunteers’ Week website.

Don’t forget to tweet us @NCVOvolunteers #volunteersweek to tell us how you’re celebrating and share your great photos with us to get them on our Volunteers’ Week 2017 Pinterest board.

Royal Society machine learning report

In their new report, Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example (pdf, 3.4MB), the Royal Society says machine learning could increase productivity, provide more effective public services, and create new products or services tailored to individual needs. For example, by analysing data from students’ school records and related sources, they suggest machine learning can be used to create models that predict the likelihood of students becoming NEET.

NCVO Annual Conference

On 20 April we held our Annual Conference, which this year focused on leadership and how charity leaders can face the challenges and opportunities ahead. The day kicked off with Stuart’s ‘state of the sector’ and we also held a number of workshops. View the workshop slides

Trustee Conference – 14 November

The Trustee Conference is our leading event for trustees. Join us as we explore what good governance looks like for modern charities.

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Paul joined NCVO over seven years ago after working for a leading public affairs agency. Since then he’s led our policy work on a variety of issues, including welfare-to-work reforms, volunteering, the Compact, public service commissioning and procurement regulations. He now leads our work on funding and finance with a particular focus on charity tax relief and safeguarding EU funding post-Brexit.

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