Soap Box

Sector commentators discuss issues affecting charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

John Picton: Quiet revolution of the freedom of information law

John Picton: Quiet revolution of the freedom of information law

The Freedom of Information Act is something to be proud of but there is still more to come, writes the law lecturer

Soap Box: This sector-wide research can be so demoralising

Soap Box: This sector-wide research can be so demoralising

There is too much doom and gloom around fundraising and donors, argues legacy fundraiser Richard Radcliffe

Soap Box: Social investment might deprive the sector of its soul

Soap Box: Social investment might deprive the sector of its soul

Should charities be looking at other methods of raising finance, asks Jake Hayman

Valerie Morton: Honesty is the best policy for fundraisers

Valerie Morton: Honesty is the best policy for fundraisers

It's perfectly reasonable for charities to ask for donations, writes our columnist, but in the right place, at the right time, in the right way and for the right project

Jon Scourse: Does fundraising need a preference service after all?

Jon Scourse: Does fundraising need a preference service after all?

Opt-in policies and more awaress of the Telephone and Mailing Preference Services make an FPS unnecessary, claims our columnist

Wally Harbert: Role of the sector in the fight against radicalisation

Wally Harbert: Role of the sector in the fight against radicalisation

It's a long-term strategy with no quick fixes, writes our columnist

Eleanor Rosenbach: The government is mounting a two-pronged attack

Eleanor Rosenbach: The government is mounting a two-pronged attack

Whether state-funded or charity-run, no service can come for free, argues the campaigns and causes account manager

Penny Waterhouse: Civil disobedience may be the only way to fight back

Penny Waterhouse: Civil disobedience may be the only way to fight back

There will be a time soon when it is one of the few remaining routes to express our democratic freedoms, writes the co-founder of the National Coalition for Independent Action

Has Movember done any good? I can't tell

Has Movember done any good? I can't tell

It's time to secure the legacy of Movember before it dissipates, argues Chris Hiley

Mark Roy: Time for charities to stop targeting Dorothy Donor

Mark Roy: Time for charities to stop targeting Dorothy Donor

Charities must cast their nets more widely when it comes to fundraising, writes the chairman of REaD Group

Catherine Demetriadi: Trustees should stop passing the buck to hired help

Catherine Demetriadi: Trustees should stop passing the buck to hired help

Trustees must take responsibility for fundraising or an industrial-scale fundraising industry will continue to grow, writes our columnist

Helen Walker: Time for sector representatives to stand up for us

Helen Walker: Time for sector representatives to stand up for us

We need to defend the little people who make up the majority of charities, writes the chief executive of TimeBank

Joe Irvin: Democracy is the poorer if charities don't campaign

Joe Irvin: Democracy is the poorer if charities don't campaign

Charities should not be stopped from having their say, argues the chief executive of Living Streets

Mark Flannagan: Charisma? Give me competence every time

Mark Flannagan: Charisma? Give me competence every time

Being able to do the job efficiently is the most underrated attribute of the charity leader, writes the chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer

Reuben Turner: Permission to ask lies in people's hearts and minds

Reuben Turner: Permission to ask lies in people's hearts and minds

We need to turn the conversation around and offer people great experiences, writes the creative director of the Good Agency

Graham Kirby: Supporters should be heard at the top of charities

Graham Kirby: Supporters should be heard at the top of charities

More transparent engagement might be uncomfortable for big charities, but in the world of social media it is becoming necessary, writes the former telephone fundraiser

Dan Dufour: Forget the brand police - we need the paramedics

Dan Dufour: Forget the brand police - we need the paramedics

Managing a charity rebrand is not for the faint-hearted, says the associate director - brand at the Good Agency

Wally Harbert: Bring back the real-life theatre of the streets

Wally Harbert: Bring back the real-life theatre of the streets

Local communities have become soulless dormitories, writes our contributor

Jane Bailey Bain: Telling a good story can help to change the world

Jane Bailey Bain: Telling a good story can help to change the world

The writer and executive coach says we need to share stories with our intended beneficiaries

Guy Battle: Much more effort is required on the social value act

Guy Battle: Much more effort is required on the social value act

The fact that there has been almost no take-up by central government departments is perplexing, writes the chief executive of the Social Value Portal

Andy Howard: Want to invest ethically? It's not that simple, sadly

Andy Howard: Want to invest ethically? It's not that simple, sadly

The founder of the research firm Didas Research says selling shares won't make oil or tobacco companies shut up shop or wind down

Wally Harbert: Why I won't join the resistance to the lobbying act

Wally Harbert: Why I won't join the resistance to the lobbying act

Large-scale political campaigning damages public confidence in the sector, and small charities might suffer collateral damage, writes our columnist

Julie Dodd: Let's hear less of innovation, more of test and learn

Julie Dodd: Let's hear less of innovation, more of test and learn

Great fundraising ideas might go viral in mere hours, but coming up with them and getting them right takes patience, writes our digital expert

Vivienne Hayes: Let's get poverty and equality on the agenda again

Vivienne Hayes: Let's get poverty and equality on the agenda again

The root of what the third sector is about is in danger of being lost as charities face the dilemma of biting the hand that feeds them, writes the chief executive of the Women's Resource Centre

Reuben Turner: Don't bamboozle your donors with charity jargon

Reuben Turner: Don't bamboozle your donors with charity jargon

'Engagement', 'appeals' and 'legacies' are not words you hear at the bus stop, so charities should not use them when communicating with supporters, writes the creative director of The Good Agency

Elizabeth Balgobin: Come on, readers - Third Sector needs more BME voices

Elizabeth Balgobin: Come on, readers - Third Sector needs more BME voices

There are so many positive things going on in black and multi-ethnic communities, the LGBT sector and the disability sector; so let's hear about them, writes our columnist

Soapbox: Stale trusts should take a lead from the radical Edge Fund

Soapbox: Stale trusts should take a lead from the radical Edge Fund

Colin Rochester says too many trusts have bought into the risk-averse model of voluntary sector organisation and stopped funding new ideas

Alex Hilton: Charities must take drastic action against the lobbying act

Alex Hilton: Charities must take drastic action against the lobbying act

The new regulations mean that charities are effectively banned from campaigning during the only time in the electoral cycle when politicians are prepared to listen, writes the director of Generation Rent

David Davison: The government must help charities navigate the pensions maze

David Davison: The government must help charities navigate the pensions maze

The rules on multi-employer pension schemes represent a real threat to the survival of many organisations; it's time that legislators intervened, writes our columnist

Wally Harbert: Not all religious charities are on the side of good

Wally Harbert: Not all religious charities are on the side of good

It would be wrong for religious groups to receive a public subsidy merely by claiming to be faith-based, he says