BBC calls for non-profit sector to strengthen community ties

ANNIE KELLY

The BBC is looking to lead the way for non-profit organisations to foster stronger links with local communities. Its first step is to develop a defined programme of social projects and operations.

As part of the initiative, the BBC intends to step up its employee volunteer programmes and to establish a clear point of entry for organisations looking to work with it on community projects.

A number of existing community schemes, including fundraising drives such as Children in Need and the development of open learning projects, may be brought within its planned corporate social responsibility network.

The project will be handled by the BBC's community affairs division and headed by the department's manager Yogesh Chauhan.

"There needs to be some movement within this sector, and we intend to lead to way for non-commercial organisations to get more involved with external social issues,

said Chauhan. "This scheme will also help us to make it clear what the BBC can and can't do on projects, by establishing clear guidelines on issues such as editorial independence."

Joe Saxton of the think-tank Future Foundation believes that the project raises some important issues about the duty of non-profit organisations to adopt more social responsibility programmes.

"I think projects like this will show non-commercial organisations such as charities, government departments and environmental agencies that it's not enough to do good, you also need to be good as well and show some accountability for your employees and the wider world."

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