2009: the year in charity management

Our round-up of the key stories of the year


A fierce row between umbrella body the NCVO and chief executives organisation Acevo played a major part in the demise of the Third Sector Leadership Centre in March.

The NCVO, the 'accountable body' in the venture, applied for £300,000 from infrastructure body Capacitybuilders to keep the centre open. But  Capacitybuilders said the NCVO business plan  was unsustainable

One of the reasons for its decision was the withdrawal of support for the business plan by Acevo, a partner in the venture. Acevo accused the NCVO of "stonewalling" over its proposals for the future of the centre, while the NCVO said it had consulted Acevo fully.

The Compact was in the news in the latter part of the year, when third sector minister Angela Smith took a decision that infringed the agreement just  before it was "refreshed". Smith's decision to scrap the £750,000 Campaigning Research Programme and divert the cash into the Hardship Fund, even though 32 small organisations had already been promised funds, was widely criticised.

She later apologised, but insisted it was the right move. It cast a shadow over the revamped Compact, which was launched in its radically slimmer new format earlier this month.

Management disputes with volunteers continued to be a difficult area. In October, Lincoln and District Citizens Advice Bureau ended up apologising to former volunteer Lettie Fortune, who had earlier been asked to leave the branch after making complaints about the management.

Two volunteers were also asked to leave East Staffordshire CAB in March after a row over serving alcohol at a Christmas party. Calls intensified for an independent volunteer ombudsman to rule on disputes involving volunteers, and Citizens Advice, the national body for CABs, appointed a volunteering development manager to deal with grievances and improve volunteer management

More than a quarter of charity chief executives had their pay frozen in 2009, Acevo's annual salary survey showed. In October, the chief executives body paid tribute to the "commendable" pay restraint demonstrated in the sector, contrasting it with the "disgustingly irresponsible" packages enjoyed by people in the banking sector. Median pay fell slightly from £57,300 to £57,264.



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