Friday, 29 June 2018

What is the future like for Charities? And should government be helping?

What is the future like for Charities? And should government be helping?

As government will inevitably seek to outsource more and fund less, what is the future like for the 500+ organisations in Jersey’s third-sector who are increasingly bridging the gap between social need and public service?

Without doubt the new Charities Law will have an affect where smaller organisations cannot satisfy the demands of governance.

It seems predictable that, for example, with 30+ Charities all competing to serve and support those affected by Cancer we are bound to see some rationalisation and consolidation as organisations with similar objectives merge.

It seems logical that there will be an increased drive to share back-office resources like HR, Training and Technology.

This is not an issue unique to Jersey.

The UK Small Charities Coalition help small charities access the skills, tools & information they need to get going and do what they do best, but this is becoming more difficult.

GDPR and Cyber Security will demand increasing attention on policies and process. The Times wrote Smaller charities have been “left in the dark and confused” about how they can comply with strict new data laws.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/small-charities-struggling-with-general-data-protection-regulation-7582x9z26

In parallel with the planned government reform it seems timely to also consider a review of the relationship between the public and the third sector, perhaps with a view to leveraging the central admin functions of the public sector to support Charities.

For example, why not standardise and streamline the data-sharing agreements between government and the Charities that provide public services under a Service Level Agreement.

Why doesn’t government, perhaps, offer every Charity that operates under a Service Level Agreement free Cyber Essentials and free Secure and Encrypted email – just as it would any Public Sector Department.

If Charities are to be used either as an extension of public service, or a replacement for services that can no longer be provided by government it seems both logical and fair that government should extend its infrastructure and expertise to help them.

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