Sir Stuart Etherington announces NCVO offer of £100k for new Baring Foundation panel

In its final report, the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector says the foundation is fundraising to create a new panel that will examine the future of the sector

Sir Stuart Etherington
Sir Stuart Etherington

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has offered £100,000 to back the creation of a new panel that will consider the future of the voluntary sector.

In its fourth and final report, published today, the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector says that the Baring Foundation, which has funded the panel for the past four years, has begun fundraising to set up a new commission to look at the future of the voluntary sector.

"In our last report we called for a new commission to be established on the future of the sector; and we are delighted to announce that the Baring Foundation is now actively fundraising to make this happen," the panel’s report says.

"Some key areas for a commission to consider, which will strengthen independence, are how to strengthen the sector’s independent mission and identity and the sector’s voice in a modern democracy; identification of a new model for working with the public sector; how to foster more innovation and collaboration; a new funding model for the sector that works for organisations that currently rely on state funding, including smaller organisations; and how to strengthen independent regulation."

Speaking at the launch of the report in London this morning, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said "the time was right for a substantial commission" to look at the future of the voluntary sector.

"In the same way that the Deakin report was a creature of its time and its recommendations marked a turning point in the history of the voluntary sector, I hope this commission will enable the sector to shape its own future," said Etherington.

"Such an endeavour needs to be properly resourced and we are pleased to be offering £100,000 to support the work of this important commission."

The report of the 1995 Commission on the Future of the Voluntary Sector, chaired by Professor Nicholas Deakin, was a significant factor behind the creation of the Compact and the government division now known as the Office for Civil Society, as well as regulatory reform and the introduction of a public benefit test for charities.

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