Charities urged to provide evidence on how the sector can 'unleash its potential'

Charities are being urged to provide evidence about how the sector can "unleash its potential" as part of a two-year inquiry into the future of the voluntary sector.

The Law Family Commission on Civil Society is a two-year initiative that aims to examine how the potential of civil society can be unlocked across the UK.

It was launched in December last year with a report by the research charity Pro Bono Economics, which found the value of charitable work in the UK was undervalued by about £160bn.

The commission is calling for charities, community groups, social enterprises, volunteers, policymakers, business leaders and academics to submit evidence on the future of civil society.

Chaired by the former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell, the initiative intends to delve into the hard numbers about the value of civil society.

It aims to ensure the public, private and social sectors work more effectively together, recognising the unique role and value each contributes to achieving the best possible outcomes for the UK, said Pro Bono Economics in a statement.

The commission aims to put forward practical policy proposals based on an understanding of what currently prevents organisations from achieving more, from funding and capacity-building to how volunteers are used.

It also hopes to understand how civil society and government interact currently, where this relationship is working well, and where there are opportunities to improve it.

Anoushka Kenley, Pro Bono Economics research and policy director, said: “We want the commission to be a dialogue across organisations and across sectors, because that’s the only way to achieve real progress.

“We want to hear examples, good or bad, of civil society working with government and with business.

“We want to know what holds civil society back from unleashing its full potential and what existing evidence we need to build on.

“And we want to know what you’d most like us to achieve over the next two years.”

The deadline for submissions is 10 May. 

To take part, click here.

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