Survey finds widespread ignorance of ChangeUp

Nearly 70 per cent of people who responded to a recent survey either did not think the Government's ChangeUp programme would work or did not even know what it was.

The survey was included in the monthly email newsletter that the Directory of Social Change sends out to 30,000 people. There were 562 respondents, 1.8 per cent of the total.

Thirty-three per cent of respondents said they did not know what ChangeUp was, and 36 per cent said they did not think it would achieve its stated aim of improving voluntary sector infrastructure.

"In total, 69 per cent either have no idea what it is or don't believe it will work," said Ben Wittenberg, head of research and fundraising at the DSC.

"The Government needs to build some more communications in this area - and fast," he added.

"There has been a lot of focus on setting up the various ChangeUp initiatives, but very little accessible information seems to be finding its way to the grass roots."

Wittenberg said he believed the recipients of the newsletter were a good reflection of the composition of the sector as a whole, which has a preponderance of smaller organisations.

ChangeUp was launched in June 2004 and has a budget of £188m to 2008.

Six hubs of expertise have been set up and a new arm's-length agency, Capacity Builders, will start work in April.

The survey results came as the hubs announced a conference at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham on 28 March to showcase their work.

It will be opened by Chris Pond, chairman of Capacity Builders, and will include workshops on finance, governance, ICT, performance improvement, volunteering and workforce development.

The price of a place varies according to the size of the organisation attending. For more information, contact hub.event@ncvo-vol.org.uk or phone Lizzie Andrews on 020 7520 2554.

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