Volunteer management fund opens for bids

Local partnerships invited to apply for grants from Capacitybuilders-run project

More than 30 local partnerships have been invited to bid for grants from the Office of the Third Sector's £3m fund for volunteer managers.

The fund, which was announced in March 2008, has been set up to provide support for people who manage volunteers.

It is being managed by the non-departmental public body Capacitybuilders.

A total of £1.6m will be made available to about 25 local partnerships developed under the ChangeUp programme managed by Capacitybuilders. Another £200,000 will go towards national support for volunteer management under programmes running until March 2011.

The fund will also provide a £1m bursary fund for volunteer manager training, which will open for applications in April 2010. Capacitybuilders said the remaining £200,000 would be spent on set-up, evaluation and management costs.

A spokesman for Capacitybuilders said it had chosen to invite bids for the £1.6m fund from its consortia in local areas with high levels of unemployment and low levels of volunteering.

Dave Conroy, national programme manager at Capacitybuilders, said: "The constructive responses from stakeholders over the past few months have helped us to refine our proposals within an extremely tight time frame.

"It is essential that the fund is cost-effective to administer and is accessible to a wide range of organisations."

The fund was set up in response to Manifesto for Change, a report by the Commission on the Future of Volunteering. Third Sector reported last month that it had been cut from £4m to £3m after money from the fund was diverted into the Government's third sector action plan.

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