Voluntary Sector Review's Most Read Articles

Enjoy gratis access to Voluntary Sector Review's top 5 most downloaded articles published in 2023 until 29 February. 

Voluntary Sector Review Most Read Articles

You are looking at 1 - 5 of 5 items

Over the past decade there has been a growth of UK food charity and in turn the growth of supermarkets’ partnerships with food charities; this policy and practice paper explores these relationships, based on our findings from the 2021 project, ‘Supermarket corporate social responsibility schemes: working towards ethical schemes promoting food security’. We review the project’s findings, present practical recommendations, and identify lessons that can be applied to the current cost of living crisis.

Restricted access

Building on remarkable and sudden fundraising success during the Covid-19 pandemic, many National Health Service (NHS) charities in England and Wales have undergone a period of rapid organisational transformation and growth. This article explores these developments by considering how claims to distinction contribute to new organisational identities and allow access to valuable resources and funding opportunities. After situating recent developments within the policy background and key changes in governance and regulation since the 1990s, we report on interviews with directors and trustees of NHS Charities Together (NHSCT), the national membership organisation of NHS charities. These offer new insight into strategic shifts and the desire to form a distinct and unified identity for NHS charities. Highlighting ongoing tensions and debates within the sector, findings raise important questions over the role of NHS charities and their position in relation to the NHS and the state.

Open access

While the main economic theories regarding the third sector argue that nonprofit organisations arise as institutional solutions to government and market failures, their role in influencing public and market outcomes are far less explored in economic research. This gap can be filled by borrowing from the social capital literature that provides a more highly integrated vision of the relationship among the three sectors. From this overturned perspective, the paper suggests an embedded theory of democracy in which civil society organisations play a crucial role in making democratic institutions work, by shaping social relations among citizens through equal and inclusive membership structures.

Restricted access

An ageing population has placed strains on health and social care systems. Innovative solutions have been sought to inject capacity and capability in order to deliver services to older people more efficiently and effectively. Over the last two decades, governments have actively encouraged third sector organisations to deliver public services on the assumption that they exhibit higher levels of innovation, efficiency and responsiveness. The evidence base, particularly for whether they provide better value for money, remains poor. We present the results of a systematic literature review on the costs and outcomes of services for older people delivered by third sector organisations. We combine this evidence with a framework for analysing the benefits and costs of third sector-led initiatives, and test this out empirically with a group of initiatives delivered for older people in an urban context. We find that our method may hold considerable promise for the evaluation of third sector initiatives.

Open access
Author:

For the voluntary sector, economic turbulence often means having to sustain a growing demand on services with a decreasing income. Sharing back-office functions is sometimes suggested as a way in which charities can collaborate to meet this challenge. This study explores the claims made for back-office sharing and how these are borne out by the experiences of charities engaged in such collaborations. Drawing on data gathered through semi-structured interviews with chief executive officers and senior managers of 18 charities in the United Kingdom, the study finds that charities were largely unprepared for the challenges of such collaborations and that the dominant aim of cost savings was often not achieved. A focus on effectiveness seemed to provide better results. These findings challenge the cost-savings premise of back-office collaborations. They also highlight the need for more empirical evidence, and for closer links between theory and practice, to help charities make informed decisions.

Open access