NCVO, acevo, Institute of Fundraising and Navca are among the nine organisations and
partnerships which have been confirmed as strategic partners of the Office of Civil Society. They will receive a total of £8.2m over the next three years.
NCVO and Volunteering England will be awarded the largest share of the fund, each receiving £500,000 in year one. However this is a drop in funding from last year's strategic partnership, where NCVO and Volunteering England received £1m and £1.6m respectively.
However, the reduction of in the number of strategic partners, from 42 to nine, has left many organisations with severe financial difficulties. Community Matters, which previously received £261,603 from the OCS has confirmed it is to create around half of its workforce redundant, while Women's Resource Centre, in a statement published on its website, has said it will "as a temporary measure, need to reduce some of the services we provide to our members".
Controversially, no equality organisations have been chosen as partners. Former strategic partner, Voice4Change England, described this as a "devastating decision".
Voice4Change chair Elizabeth Balgobin said: "This represents a monumental blow to the Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector and the disadvantaged communities they serve. The BME VCS have lost their seat at one of the most significant tables of national Government decision making. Decades of policy making have proven that without the inclusion of BME voices, the distinct needs of disadvantaged BME communities are not met."
It is planning to fight the decision and is submitting a request to the OCS to see the equalities impact assessment undertaken for this programme.
Nick Hurd, minister for Civil Society, said in the announcement: "We have had to reduce the number of strategic partners, not least to focus resource on front line services. However this is a good mix of partners who will represent the sector well. I look forward to working with them to help the sector manage change and maximise the opportunities that will flow from the Big Society agenda."
The list of the nine strategic partners, comprising a total of 17 organisations, is as follows:
- ACEVO in partnership with Euclid Network and New Philanthropy Capital
- Community Foundation Network in partnership with Association of Charitable Foundations
- Institute of Fundraising
- Locality (new name from April 2011 resulting from DTA and Bassac merger)
- Social Entrepreneurship Partnership (School for Social Entrepreneurs, UnLtd, CAN, Plunkett Foundation and Social Firms UK)
- Social Enterprise Coalition in partnership with Cooperatives UK
- Volunteering England
And the losers...
Twenty four strategic partners missed out on funding from the OCS. They were:
Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
National Youth Agency
East of England Black and Minority Ethnic Network (Menter)
Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations
Community Development Exchange
National Council for Voluntary Youth Services
Action with Communities in Rural England
Women's Resource Centre
Youth Action Network
Charities Evaluation Services
British Youth Council
Consortium of LGB&T VCOs
Charity Trustee Networks
Church Urban Fund
Social Enterprise London
Third Sector European Network
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