Charities need 'constructive solutions' to cuts in public spending, says Stephen Bubb

Acevo chief calls for targeted approach to fund capacity-building

The voluntary sector should not "rush to man the barricades" over impending cuts to public spending but instead propose constructive solutions to government, according to Stephen Bubb, head of chief executives body Acevo.

Speaking last night on the future of capacity-building at a networking event for charity chief executives, Bubb said spending cuts were inevitable and the sector could not demand the same level of investment in infrastructure that had taken place over the past decade.

But he said charities should lead the discussion about the support they would like in future. "This means we must seek strategic conversations with politicians and commissioners, and avoid allowing these to descend into arguments about cuts," he told his audience at the offices of charity law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite.

"Cuts are coming, but we must be proposing constructive solutions, not rushing to man the barricades."

Bubb said that capacity-building programmes for the sector had been generic up to now, but  in future it would need targeted interventions that were "more tailored to the needs of individual organisations".

He proposed that charities should receive individual budgets from the state and then find support from providers that catered for the specific needs of different organisations.

"This would allow for capacity-building to be integrated into contracts with private sector providers in more complex supply chains, and for developmental support for the sector to be a mainstream corporate social responsibility activity," he said.


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