Sector 'lacking in negotiating skills'

Only 5 per cent of small charities and 18 per cent of large charities are negotiating adequate terms on public service delivery contracts, a survey of charity chief executives has revealed.

Acevo's poll of 120 leaders has increased fears that small voluntary organisations in particular are being pushed into accepting poor terms on contracts.

Many charities appear unwilling to reject terms, no matter how unfavourable: only 22 per cent of small charities said they would never walk away from the negotiations if offered unfavourable terms by a funder.

Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, said: "There's a long way to go before third sector organisations have the necessary skills to negotiate with statutory bodies."

Acevo will tomorrow publish a guide designed to help charities negotiate more successfully.

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