Sector bodies join forces to help smaller charities bid for public services

The NCVO, Acevo and the Lloyds Bank Foundation have established Rebalancing the Relationship to adjust the relationship between large and small charities in bidding for public services contracts

(Photograph: Getty Images)
(Photograph: Getty Images)

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Acevo and the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales have launched a new project to try to help different sized charities bid for and deliver public sector services.

The project, which was launched today and is called Rebalancing the Relationship, has been set up to address the relationship between large charities and smaller voluntary organisations in working with the public sector.

In a statement, the NCVO said the decision to launch the new project came about because of concerns that smaller charities were being squeezed out of public service delivery by the practices of larger organisations and existing commissioning practices.

A call for evidence will be launched in the next few weeks, the NCVO said, and would be the basis of a research report in the autumn on current bidding and commissioning practices.

A final report will then be released in early 2020 with recommendations for reforming commissioning practices, after a number of engagement events with charities.

A steering group will be set up to oversee the project and an advisory group will be established to provide feedback for the project.

Anyone wishing to join the advisory group should contact the NCVO by emailing

The announcement comes after a concerted effort by government to get public sector organisations to take greater account of social value when commissioning services.

Earlier this month, Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office, said the government would prioritise getting more small and medium-sized organisations, including charities, involved in government contracts.

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