Better IT and lower costs are priorities for sector, says report on red tape

Study by the Office for Civil Society says an action plan will be drawn up for the autumn, based on research by the new charity Go On UK

The government will create new programmes to support volunteering and IT development, according to a report published this week by the Office for Civil Society.

Making it easier to set up and run a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation: progress update addresses the government’s success in cutting red tape for charities.

It is one of several updates the Cabinet Office has provided on progress on its main objectives since the coalition government came into power.

The red tape report says that the development of better IT in the voluntary sector is a "stand-out priority" and that the government will "help the sector embrace the potential of technology to reduce costs, increase income and mobilise people".

It says a national action plan will be drawn up for the autumn, based on research currently being carried out by a newly created charity, Go On UK, set up to get more people online.

The action plan will be delivered by several partners, including the Charity Technology Trust, a charity that helps voluntary organisations to improve their IT.

The report says that the Innovation in Giving fund, a £10m programme administered by the innovation funder Nesta, will run an innovation programme to create new "operating and funding models" for volunteer centres.

"Space will be provided to rethink how volunteer opportunities and experiences are generated and designed in order to attract more volunteers from a wide demographic," it says.

The report says that among government successes so far are reducing uncertainty about volunteer drivers, cutting the number of criminal records checks, providing new guidance on health and safety and introducing an exemption to make it easier for charities to share back-office functions. It has also provided grant funding to a number of schemes that support the sector.

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