Big Society - Does it add up? by Kevin Carey, RNIB
Charity Finance Directors’ Group 2011 Annual Conference MOVING FROM GLOOM TO BLOOM Does the Big Society add up?: Charities in a Postmodern Age by Kevin Carey, Chair, RNIB
Definition of ModernismA period from approximately 1789 - theoutbreak of the French Revolution - to 1976 -the global oil price spike - during whichmeans were developed and employed foreconomic mass production and theprosecution of world wars.
The End of Modernism• The development of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee and the development of the PC and Windows 3.x;• The collapse of the Communist Eastern European bloc and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Four Pillars of Welfarism• Ranking consumption over infrastructural investment;• Using cheap credit rather than redistribution to tackle inequalities;• Resorting to lazy statism in a crisis‘;• Adhering to an inexorable economic and income growth for the better off.
Presentation OutlineAspects of Postmodernism• Politics;• Culture;• Charities themselves;• Money.
Charity Bands• Total volunteer ultra local organisations;• Declining number of middle sized city, county, regional and national charities;• A declining number of charities large enough to operate in a heavily competitive market for audience.
Charities and Postmodernism• Foster participation;• Channel personal experience;• Empower event organising.
Proposals for Major Charity Changes • A switch of default from campaigning and contracting to product development, wholesaling and retailing; • Be transparent about expenditure and impact; • Be rational about mergers and acquisitions; • Drop the charity designation; • Break the double lock of poor performance and poor pay.
What Charities should beWe should be developers and deliverers of social capital and social goods and services.
Summary of Actions• Diagnose problems and market solutions;• Base impact on sales;• Persuade investors of user requirements.
Donors and CharitiesWhen people invest in charities they arebuying something to please themselves aswell as to benefit others and most of themare using discretionary income in acompetitive charity market which in turncompetes against other forms of moreobvious self gratification.
Kevin Carey, Chair, RNIBRoyal National Institute of Blind People 105 Judd Street London, WC1H 9NE Tel: 0207 388 1266 www.rnib.org.uk