Independence in Question: the voluntary sector in 2016. Major UK report warns of serious loss of independence and calls for action

volsecreport80Extract from Civil Exchange website: Independence in Question is the fifth annual assessment of the state of health of the voluntary sector, following on from the final report the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector published in February 2015.

It 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 and the sector in a critical position, and it calls for united action by the voluntary sector to stave off potential further threats.

The report highlights how the new ‘no advocacy’ clauses in all taxpayer funded grants announced in February 2016 mark a key shift in the balance of voices shaping public policy. The input of grass root and expert voluntary organisations ensures all voices in society can be heard, the report argues, and is especially important at a time of massive changes in services and benefits.

It also reveals how a recent wave of controversies around charity operations – including poor fund raising practices and the alleged selling of inappropriate commercial products – has left the rest of the sector more vulnerable than ever to attack and proves the need for some larger organisations to make sure they are being true to their independent, charitable purpose in everything they do….

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