Voluntary sector organisations are – rightly – highly valued for their connection and commitment to the people and communities they serve. This allows them to meet real and sometimes previously hidden needs, to speak up without fear or favour and to deliver services in original and effective ways. This independence – of purpose, voice and action – is what makes the voluntary sector special and enables it to serve the interests of those who might otherwise be left without support or a voice because they lack power or influence.
The Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector has been established by the Baring Foundation because of continued concerns about that independence. Over the next few years, we aim to shed light on how far there is a problem and what can be done about it.
The Panel’s second of four annual assessments, Independence under Threat: the Voluntary Sector in 2013, is now available, including an executive summary.
Over the last year, the Panel has held two open evidence gathering sessions to inform its next report, due out in January 2013. For a note of the key points made at the first one, in April, click here. A transcript of the October session is here.