The Giving Summit
26 May 2011 | By Cause4 staff
One of the most interesting proposals in the Government’s White Paper on Giving is its plan to channel the energy and creativity of multiple partners across society, including businesses, charities, faith groups, social enterprises, academia, philanthropists and others, by providing funding for game-changing ideas and a Giving Summit in the Autumn of 2011.
Government is well-placed to bring people together - particularly decision-makers from different sectors that might not otherwise meet - and to highlight good ideas. There is no doubt that in the present economic climate funding capacity is tougher than ever. Low interest rates leading to low return on investments has meant that for many trusts and foundations the money available for good causes has vastly diminished. Simultaneous Government funding cuts have left organisations such as the Arts Council, for instance, with much smaller pots to distribute, whilst corporates have likewise seen their CSR budgets slashed. This is at a time when the demand for funding is rising to levels seldom previously seen as organisations scramble for survival – let alone for developing new and much-needed programmes.
New and innovative projects and partnerships are essential to deliver the very best outcomes. Now, more than ever, the sector needs the best creative thinkers with the most inventive ideas. If funders are unwilling or unable to take risks in the current climate, many potentially exciting programmes will fail to make it to the runway. Such risk-averse attitudes may also be discouraging established organisations from developing innovative new programmes and instead are relying on tried and tested formulae to raise funds - ones which, we suggest, may be far from the most effective and efficient solutions.
Government’s proposals are to be welcomed. They play to its strengths by drawing upon its influence, persuasion, negotiation and resources. If Government can be a facilitator in supporting organisations to join together in what has been all too often a fragmented sector, wary of sharing ideas and pooling resources, then this is an important step-change.
Bring on the Summit!