Friday, June 30, 2006

New fundraising standards released for consultation

The Fundraising Standards Board, officially launched last month to promote self regulation of charity fundraising, is consulting on a new donor charter. First published by the Institute of Fundraising in 2001, the charter outlines the principles of the relationship between fundraisers and donors. A new version of this promise is now under consultation and charities that sign up to the FSB will be required to commit to these new standards.

The new document sets out the “ten commandments” to which the participating charities must adhere. These include promising to be honest, open, accountable, respectful to donors and committed to high standards.

Jon Scourse, director of the FSB, said: “For the large part, these key principles are a matter of common sense that many charities are already adhering to. But for those that sign up to self-regulation compliance with donor’s charter is obligatory. It will ensure that charities work together, raising standards across the sector and communicating those standards of practice effectively to the general public.”

The consultation period will last 12 weeks, and the charter can be viewed at

Thursday, June 29, 2006

PM delivers positive message while figures reveal systematic failure

In his speech to the Future Services Network conference on 22 June, the Prime Minister highlighted government plans to reform public service delivery with greater collaboration between the public, private and third sector, while giving end-users more choice in how they access services.

The Prime Minister said: “It seems clear to me that partnerships between commercial companies, third sector organisations and the public sector will, more and more, be the way we deliver better focused and more cost-effective public services.

“A great deal has happened in the sector since 1997. It is the same sector in name only. Its scope, capacity and skills have been transformed. Of course the major credit for that goes to the people who have done it. But I like to think that a supportive government has played its role too.”

Meanwhile, the NCVO has released new research which highlights “systematic failing in the government’s approach to the delivery of public services by voluntary and community organisations”. The survey demonstrated how funding bodies were largely failing to provide contracts for longer than one year, while failure to agree payments in advance, or to pay on time, were commonplace.

Of those surveyed, 55% have not had funding negotiated and agreed promptly for this financial year, while 41% who had their funding agreed had not been paid on time. Also, 46% had not had their funding agreed for a period longer than one year, while 47% had not had funding agreed for payment in advance.

Campbell Robb, director of public policy at the NCVO, said: “Government talks about placing public services in the hands of the voluntary sector… Government needs to turn its rhetoric into reality and show a greater understanding of what the sector can bring and how it operates. If this does not happen, the real failure will not be that voluntary and community organisations cannot take on a greater role in public service delivery, but that citizens and communities will fail to get the services they need and deserve.”

Along those lines, Phil Woolas MP, minister for local government and community cohesion told the Future Services Network conference that the cross-government action plan was due to be launched this autumn, which will hopefully allow for greater inter-government collaboration at a time when it is calling for greater collaboration between sectors. The action plan was originally muted for May this year, though the cabinet reshuffle caused this to be pushed back.

Source: Charity Times news alert 22nd June 2006

Sad but true...

... the ever efficient, always delightful, consistently clever, and generally good-allrounder, Claire, is leaving us to go to Australia. We're just getting used to the prospect of life without her, and have a couple of months to make plans for our new Australian branch office, but until then, it's time to say, "G'day, and watch this space...."

Claire - what will we do without you?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Free Course Guide now available

After much hard work by our Claire Fletcher, our new Course Guide is now available and so to request your free copy just email and we'll get a print copy or PDF to you as soon as we can!

Claire is now working on a major update of the charitytraining web site and so check it out around the end of August to see the wonderful new changes that are being made to it!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

BTEC students complete the course!

If you're interested in personal development news in the voluntary sector, then 1st June 2006 is a major milestone that marks the completion of the BTEC Professional Certificate in Voluntary Sector Management course by three charity managers based in Northampton.

Christine Lennon (Stonham Housing), Jane Skelton (Pre-School Learning Alliance) and Stephen Jones (The Jesus Centre) carried out their project presentations earlier today that officially marks the end of a 12 month period of study. Each of the learners will receive their certificate marking their achievement of this qualification at a special presentation ceremony planned for Northampton in September.

Today's presentations addressed volunteer recruitment and retention; volunteer deployment when involved in service delivery; and planning an effective office move.

Chris Lennon was the first of the three to present her project at Moulton Management Centre earlier today, and in doing so is officially the very first person in the country to complete the course that was launched in September 2005.

For details about the BTEC Professional Certificate in Voluntary Sector Management go to