The local ecology of charitable resources, rose lindsey, sra seminar, march 2013

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  • Before tea Sarah and Matt talked about the quantitative analysis that the TSRC has been undertaken in relation to understanding formal volunteering and youth volunteering. David and I are now going to look at evidence relating to the distribution of charities, I’m here to look at some of the evidence arising from a piece of qualitative work undertaken, looking at difference and similarity in distribution of charities in 2 case-study areas… One affluent, one deprived in SE England Relationship between charities and need (what type of needs are met in the case-study areas) How sustainable charities in each area And evidence of difference, or perceived inequality in the flow of charitable resources…
  • 2 sources of evidence Started with desk top project Followed by field work… interviews…
  • 2 case-study areas one deprived, one affluent neighbourhood within one local govt areas investigated Case-study areas lying within three miles of each other. Ethnically homogeneous – white British Anonymised: The Village the affluent area - a third of this neighbourhood falls within the first two deciles of least deprivation in England . The Estate are among the twenty per cent most deprived in England The Estate is three times the size, and three times as densely populated as The The Village. The Estate is an area of social housing - affordable local-authority or housing-association owned properties. Consists of low-rise flats with a high turnover of vulnerable tenants, individuals and families in urgent need of rehousing, including women escaping substance abuse, ex-prisoners, and people with mental health and substance abuse problems. Also, more popular differently sized individual house units. Some parts of the estate are more deprived than others. High level of reliance on state benefits, and a relatively high population turnover Area has received several phases of state-funded regeneration initiatives and area-based grants. The Village - Larger & less densely populated than The Estate - approx 1440 people per square kilometre. Two small pockets of social housing and deprivation within otherwise predominantly prosperous community. Prosperous village, high levels of owner occupation and high proportions of retired people.
  • When we looked at the types of charities registered to and operating in the case-study areas, we found some differences: Greater number and proportion of faith charities in The Village these are also – 5 with incomes over £200K but only 1 faith charity registered and benefiting to the Estate. This had an income just over £100K The finding is that The Village has more small charities, income range £2K to £36K – mean income £11,000 These are run by volunteers, with no govt funding, and meet a range of different social needs, Examples are girl guides, museum, community centre, stroke club, friends of a cottage hospital, two universities of the third age… In contrast The Estate only has 3 small charities run by volunteers– scouts, disabliity and elderly lunch club mean income of £7K.. But The Estate does have charities with larger incomes £74-£1m which are dependent on statutory funding And these are run by paid professionals – disabilities, early years, surestart, adult and young persons mental health, citizen’s advice, giving advice primarily on debt…Do have a community centre and an arts charity. More basic sets of need being met in the estate
  • This difference in types of need being met are also reflected in the type of charities that are registered elsewhere, but which operate in the case-study areas The Village has some social welfare needs being met… but it also has fundraising for regional charities like hospices and national charity fundraising which are more philanthropic in nature In contrast the majority of charities coming into the estate provide support for identified basic welfare and social needs
  • Difference is evident in informal activity too. Looked at informal activity within the case-study area, it wasn’t the primary focus, but we were interested to see what was out there & get a feel for how it meshed with the formal activity we had been looking at Estate – some informal.. Had to look for it, and most of it was organised through a church on the Estate (not the registered charity) through interviews and reading minutes of different meetings, there was evidence of previous activity on the estate, but short term nature, and possibly boosted by presence of area-based grants, now no longer available In contrast there was a lot of informal activity within The Village, that is actually structured and modelled along more formal lines.
  • Summing up all this evidence, what we realised is that we had 2 distinct charitable economies. The Village has a strong localised charitable economy with a cyclical flow of charitable funding through philanthropic behaviour: Charities are well supported by residents, with charitable donations: from individuals, small businesses, and other charities. Membership fees or entrance fees. Sales of goods. Fundraising events and legacies, 2. Charities were inter-connected by their volunteers – same volunteers/usual suspects involved in different charities 3. Not necessarily lots of money being donated – except perhaps in the case of legacies - but the money tends to stay in the community.. With occasional leakage to national & regional charities And the Estate – in then out Little money stays in the estate
  • Thinking about this evidence in overview, suggested that there was a strong charitable ecology in the village, that Based on philanthrophy and the resources of residents Ecology based not just on a strong charitable economy, and skills of residents, but also on their use of weak social ties Cyclical flow of donated charitable resources, money, time, information and favours through the use of weak social ties and networls Resources originate in the area – and they flow between local charities, branches of larger regional or national charities and unregistered organisations Local decision making takes place through this charitable ecology, through a small group of movers and shapers running these formal and informal organisations. These groups have rejected efforts from local govt to help organise forums, and although current methods of decision-making aren’t democratic, they appear to be accepted by the majority of the community (although there is an issue relating to the lack of voice within the deprived community)
  • Charitable ecology of The Estate is different Here charities have voices in different forums, and are able to represent the needs of their clients – the residents- in these forums Residents are offered opportunities to have their voices heard in neighbourhood forums, but there is little take up or involvement from residents. – the ecology is strong, as long as it has statutory funding and support
  • so able to consider the relationship between area context and survival This work complements the insights provided by qualitative cross-sectional studies, which provide important depth on specific themes relating to the success and failure of voluntary organisations but may not be able to place these within a wider longitudinal and geographical context (MacMillan 2011). In contrast, by following a large number of organisations over time, we are able to explore the way in which social context systematically structures outcomes: outcomes for a given organisation remain unpredictable, but the distribution of outcomes exhibits regularity according to social context (Hay 2002; emphasis added). Overall, the study is empirically distinctive, in illustrating the marked differences in rates of survival between different kinds of areas, but it also aims to be theoretically distinctive in transcending ‘intentionalist’ and ‘structuralist’ accounts of organisational survival in the way it relates organisational strategy and social context.
  • The local ecology of charitable resources, rose lindsey, sra seminar, march 2013

    1. 1. The Local “Ecology” ofCharitable Resources:Case Studies inContrasting Communities.SRA Seminar 20-03-2013Rose LindseyR.Lindsey@soton.ac.uk
    2. 2. Focus of this paperTo explore evidence of existing variation and/or similarity in thecharitable landscapes of two contrasting case-study areas –one affluent, and one deprived – in South East England.Looking specifically at: The relationship between charities and need at aneighbourhood level Differences in the flow of charitable resources at aneighbourhood level Are there inequalities? Policy relevance of this evidence
    3. 3. Policy contextTo explore how these communities might respond to:•Austerity measures and reductions in public spending•Big Society and Localism agendas which include thewithdrawal of the state and the devolution of power tosmall communities.www.shaw-trust.org.uk
    4. 4. Sources of evidence: Desk top research to identify charities registered to, andgiving benefit to 2 contrasting case-study areas from thesame non-metropolitan district council/local government areain SE England. 43 semi-structured interviews with 51 individuals from 41different organisations. Respondents included managers ofcharities, trustees of charities, and key stakeholders fromcase-study areas. Timeframe for collection of evidence – Sept 2010 – Aug 2011www.shaw-trust.org.uk
    5. 5. Profiles of neighbourhood case-study areasArea Type of housing and living environment Other characteristicsThe Estate(20% mostdeprived)Three times as many people living on TheEstate compared to The Village.Social housing which consists of tenancies in•Less popular low-rise flats•Individual houses• High levels of state benefits• Relatively high population turnover• Benefited from Regenerationinitiatives and Area Based Grantsfrom the State• Ethnically homogenous –predominantly white BritishTheVillage(20% leastdeprived)1.5 times as large as The Estate, and lessdensely populated•High levels of owner occupation•11% social renting – two small housing estates(residents appear marginalised)• Prosperous village• High proportion of retired people,some of whom have moved into thearea for retirement• Ethnically homogenous –predominantly white Britishrg.uk
    6. 6. Distribution The Village has approximately four times as manycharities, per person, as the Estate Greater sustainability (79%) of registered charities inThe Village compared to The Estate (42%)www.shaw-trust.org.uk
    7. 7. Types of charities registered to and benefiting the case-study areasThe Estate The VillageRegistered faith charities - the majority of these have astrong charitable presence in the case-studycommunities1 7Small charities primarily funded by donations, feesand sales, and run by volunteers - meet a mix ofneeds – health/disability, social isolation,community, mutual benefit, cultural.3 11(58%)Small educational charities for deprived children, mostlyfrom the Estate, run by staff members1 1Larger charities, primarily funded by central orlocal government staffed by paid professionals.Meet core basic needs of community, early years,health, advice + 1 cultural9(64%)0Total 14 19
    8. 8. Charities registered elsewhere that benefit the case-study areasThe Estate The VillageSupport for parents who have difficultyparentingSocial activities for sociallyisolated elderly peopleHousing associations offering sociallyrented housingHousing Association forsocially rented housing in 2small areas of deprivationSupport for women experiencingdomestic abuseDrop-in mobile SureStartWork with young people at risk ofoffending3 volunteer run charity shopsin aid of hospicesSupport with unemployment Volunteers raising money forpopular large national charities
    9. 9. Visibility of informal activityhighly visible unregistered organisations that provide access to sport,public spaces, the arts, gardening, languages and social activitiesThe Estate – less visible The Village – highly visibleVarious activities, like Women’sInstitute, bingo, Good Neighboursscheme, support for internationalaid, that are organised throughlocal churches (adds to work of TheEstate’s one, formal faith charity)Well advertised highly visibleunregistered organisations thatprovide access to sport, publicspaces, environmental issues,community, the arts, gardening,languages and social activitiesSmall unregistered environmentalgroupInvisible (to researchers) informalactivity undertaken through strongsocial ties – neighbours and familyInvisible (to researchers) informalactivity undertaken through strongsocial ties – neighbours and family
    10. 10. Interviewee views on differences in levels offormal engagement:• Residents of The Estate: chaotic lifestyles, poor time-management, lackof confidence, lack of project management skills, successful peopleleave the area - all affect capacity to take part.• Residents of The Village: lots of project management skills, lots ofrecently retired people who have moved into the community. Use ofweak social ties.www.shaw-trust.org.uk
    11. 11. The Village The EstateFlows back out of community aswages to non-local professionals,and rents to Local AuthorityExternal statutory fundingflows into the EstatePays for provision of servicesCHARITABLE ECONOMIES
    12. 12. Villageresidents’ use ofweak social ties(excludes 2small areas ofdeprivation)The charitable ecology of The VillageLocaldecisionmaking
    13. 13. The Estate –professionalcharitableorganisations –use of voluntaryand statutorypartnershipsThe charitable ecology of The EstateResidentsinvited to beinvolved – littletake-up
    14. 14. Case-study areas: difference rather thaninequality? Identified a range of differences between areas, this includes: numbers ofcharities; levels of sustainability; capacity for voluntarism; and the flow ofresources within these two communities. Difference relates to the type of needs being met. Needs reflect therelative levels of deprivation of both communities, (except for the 2 smallhousing estates in The Village – this represents an inequality) ‘High’ culture is very evident in the formal and informal engagementpractices of The Village, although in 2011, the arts charity in The Estatewas arguing for the cultural entitlement of the residents as part ofaspiration for the area. Does ‘high’ culture survive in deprived areas duringausterity?
    15. 15. Capacity to take up Big Society andLocalism agendas?Austerity measures accompany new localist policies in reducing publicspending, and bringing about the withdrawal of state, with communitiesbeing expected to provide for themselves.If funding is withdrawn?The Village charities are self-financing and the community wouldcontinue to make decisions for itself.The Estate charities would fold, removing the voices of these charities,and the residents they represent. These voices would be lost from localdecision making processes. Faith organisations may take up some of the gaps?www.shaw-trust.org.uk
    16. 16. Future work?• Further qualitative and quantitative work on sustainability oforganisations in deprived communities since the economic crisis of2008• Case-studies of bridging of social divides. A research study thatlooks for communities and organisations where there is bridging,and how and why this is successful.www.shaw-trust.org.uk
    17. 17. Relevant papers• Lindsey R. (2012) ‘Exploring local hotspots and deserts: investigatingthe local distribution of charitable resources’ CGAP working paper:http://www.cgap.org.uk/research/working-papers.html• Lindsey R. (2013) ‘Exploring local hotspots and deserts: investigatingthe local distribution of charitable resources’ Voluntary Sector Review4 (1) 1-22• Mohan J. & Lindsey R.,(2012) ‘Local charitable ecologies? Trackingflows of charitable resources into contrasting communities in South-East England’ (submitted for publication)• ESRC ‘The contrasting world of charities’ in ESRC evidence briefingFebruary 2013:http://www.esrc.ac.uk/publications/evidence-briefings/index.aspxR.Lindsey@soton.ac.uk

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