The voluntary and community sector could lobby government more effectively if it presented a cohesive message, according to the head of the Active Communities Directorate at the Home Office.
Jitinder Kohli told senior figures at an event at City University in London last week that too many different voices were speaking for the sector. "It would be good to see the key umbrella bodies work more closely together to deliver a consistent message," he said.
Kohli also urged the voluntary sector to use government investment - but not to rely on it - and to walk away from bad contracts. "It's a fundamental principle of business," he said.
Kohli spoke at the formal opening of the university's Centre for Charity Effectiveness. Prof Ian Bruce, the director, said it was now the largest university department in the UK educating charity staff.