A recent article in the Guardian asked charity leaders what they want from the next general election. With a term of continuous funding cuts for charities, and less than a year to go, all parties need to be thinking about how they can be supporting the sector to ensure its sustainability in a climate where demand for services is high.
The next Government should be looking to lower taxes by using the large leverage effective non-profit fundraising would give to their social spending. This would be possible if they invested properly in ensuring charities and other non-profits had efficient fundraising strategies, effective fundraisers and the resources to launch and maintain strong fundraising campaigns.
The Big Society concept is well known as a cruel hoax to mask draconian cuts levied on the poor and disabled. That people now need food banks is a national disgrace, especially when those responsible to the crisis are still in receipt of lavish incomes. So any new initiative requires a clear and credible strategy.
Two areas that should be added to the huge pro-social agenda I recommend are the use of government-funded mezzanine finance and the kind of philanthropic impact investment recently researched by the Zurich Insurance Group and Populations Services International as a means of scaling up non-profit services income to meet the growing demand.
One thing is certainly clear, the next Government needs to give the charity sector the capacity, support and trust it deserves to enable it to sustainably deliver the social change that it is capable of.
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