Infrastructure consortia 'more concerned with survival than helping front-line charities'

Study finds that infrastructure groups are failing to adapt to the recession and need to become 'less defensive'

Infrastructure groups are more worried about their own interests rather than those of front-line organisations they were set up to serve, according to a report released this week.

Get Real, Get Resilient! is based on interviews with infrastructure groups in the West Midlands, but author Barbara Parkinson says the findings are likely to be replicated across the country.

The report was commissioned by Destination: West Midlands, a partnership of third sector infrastructure consortia and networks, to find out how infrastructure groups are adapting to the recession.

It says infrastructure organisations "are still too busy looking after their own interests rather than front-line organisations' welfare.

"Most West Midlands infrastructure consortia are not - either individually or collectively - prepared for the recession or for supporting their front-line organisations," the report says. "They need to become less defensive about their expertise gaps and to develop expertise-based sharing arrangements."

Parkinson, a consultant and former vice-chair of local infrastructure group Navca, told Third Sector some groups were unwilling to change and others were too busy worrying where their future funding would come from.

"That attitude won't do any more," she said. "They have to decide what they do and go for it. If that means shaving things off and sharpening up what they do then that's what needs happen."

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Destination: West Midlands

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