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Surviving or thriving in the Big Society?


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A presentation on the challenges brought about first by the recession and then by the public spending cuts, with questions for how voluntary and community organisations can help to build the big society

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Surviving or thriving in the Big Society?

  1. 1. Surviving or thriving in the Big Society? The Voluntary and Community Sector in 2010 and ahead Karl Wilding, Head of Research National Council for Voluntary Organisations Contact: [email_address] or Evidence|Resources|Policy|Opinion|Signposting:
  2. 2. I would like to start a discussion on… <ul><li>Where are we now and how we survived the recession </li></ul><ul><li>A new challenge? Building the Big Society </li></ul><ul><li>How CSOs might contribute to a renewal of our society and build a better, ‘good society’ </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Where are we now and how we survived the recession
  4. 4. The estimates in this slide pack refer to the voluntary sector only – based on the general charities definition
  5. 5. How to grow by £10bn: donors + delivery £ billions
  6. 6. Reserves
  7. 7. Free reserves
  8. 8. 2. A new challenge? Building the Big Society
  9. 9. What is The Big Society? <ul><li>In short, it’s a vision (not yet an ideology?) with 5 themes: </li></ul><ul><li>Give communities more powers </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage people to take an active role in their communities </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer power from central to local government </li></ul><ul><li>Support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises </li></ul><ul><li>Publish government data </li></ul><ul><li>Many of these themes have little or no underlying detail. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Charitable giving dipped by 11% in 2008/09… Total £10.3bn Total £11.2bn Total £9.9bn Philanthropy dipped in 2007/08: £ million+ donations fell in value from £1.6bn to £1.4bn (13%) Source: CAF/NCVO
  11. 11. Volunteering has remained relatively static
  12. 12. Cuts… Statutory funding of the VCS, 2001/01- 2007/08 (£billions). Source: NCVO Spending back to here? <ul><li>Cuts in expenditure effectively take us back to 2004/05 (LD/Lab) or 2003/04 (Tories), i.e. back to pre- Change Up levels </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts imply loss in income to the sector of £3.1-£3.2 billions, but this assumes a) no tax increases, b) VCS funded only by unprotected depts, c) political indifference to the sector </li></ul>
  13. 13. 3. How VCOs might contribute to a renewal of our society
  14. 14. The Big Society and Civil Society <ul><li>The Big Society is not the same as civil society… </li></ul><ul><li>… or a big voluntary sector. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal must not be simply a bigger society – but a better, fairer society </li></ul>
  15. 15. We support it. NCVO believes The Big Society is a good idea. But we have some questions…
  16. 16. Some questions for debate <ul><li>Does more localism just mean more power for town halls? Or communities of place? </li></ul><ul><li>Does Big Government really 'crowd out' Big Society? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we address the issue of scaling-up voluntary action? Big charities? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we cut public spending and maintain capacity to grow the Big Society? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the Big Society engage all parts of the community, not just those who shout loudest? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we prepared to stay with this for the long-term? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we – civil society - want the Big Society to be? </li></ul>