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16 Dec 2013 - 15:26 by sarah.whitelegg

To mark Trustees Week, November 2013, the Capacity building team at Macc invited trustees of Manchester charities to attend a free seminar, delivered by Moira Protani, Partner and Head of the Charities Department at Wilsons Solicitors LLP. The session was a great opportunity for existing trustees to revisit their responsibilities and check any gaps in their knowledge -it can be difficult to know what you don’t know!- and a great introduction for new trustees.

If you missed the seminar then there is still good news because a copy of Moira’s Powerpoint presentation is available at...

Shared Topic Areas

12 Dec 2013 - 16:20 by Mike Wild

I think it’s generally recognised that the biggest social and economic divide in the country is not between North and South but between London and The Rest of the Country. Alex Swallow’s latest blog for Third Sector has finally prompted me to set down some of my thinking on this and how it affects our sector. http://alexswallow.thirdsector.co.uk/2013/12/10/decentralising-power-and-distributing-ideas/

Alex makes the point that too much of our sector is focused on London...

Shared Topic Areas

11 Dec 2013 - 15:38 by Nigel Rose

The Chest is the e-portal for procurement used by Manchester City Council and other councils in Greater Manchester. As councils continue the move from grants to contracts The Chest will become the main focus for communication between the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and council officers once the tender process begins. VCS organisations will have to register their interest in particular opportunities, download the documents they require, ask questions through the site and receive answers, and then upload their completed applications and...

7 Nov 2013 - 10:59 by sefton.simpson

 Is this the million dollar question? In the world of Return on Investment (ROI) and cost benefit analysis where L’oreal campaigns are banned and you need to PROVE “you’re worth it”, everything we found comfortable, and have coined phrases about, is rewritten. The money is no longer where the mouth is but where the outcomes are and increasingly, organisations are being asked to show not only what outcomes will be achieved but to also explain those outcomes in the context of counterfactual analysis: what would happen without your project? Can you prove the importance of your service?...

Shared Topic Areas

24 Oct 2013 - 19:01 by Mike Wild

At our Spirit of Manchester awards event last month one of the categories was for Most Successful Campaign. We wanted to acknowledge campaigning work because we’ve always believed that it’s the job of charities not just to meet needs but to drive change for the longer term. The history of social change in this country has been driven by the campaigning efforts of groups for centuries.

Most of our public services were established in the voluntary sector. As cuts to public sector budgets hit, it’s...

23 Oct 2013 - 15:59 by Nigel Rose

Monitor is the sector regulator for health services in England. One of its roles is to ensure that Health and Social Care Act 2012 is implemented and a key focus of the Act is on integrated care. The Act imposes duties on Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to ensure that health services are internally integrated (within NHS provided services) and externally integrated (with health and social services provided by others) where they consider that it would:


13 Aug 2013 - 10:48 by Mike Wild

During the recent bout of hot weather, I somehow managed to come down with a cold. I not only felt ill, I also felt ridiculous: I mean who gets a cold in the middle of a heatwave? As I write this, figures have just been released showing that the country’s economy is slowly starting to grow again after the recession. It’s a similar feeling: I’m being told it’s lovely out there but it feels dreadful. No matter what the economic analysis says, when I look around I see incomes reducing, prices rising, services closing and life generally becoming more difficult. I also know that this will...

31 Jul 2013 - 14:03 by Nigel Rose

There is much glib talk of a level playing field in procurement and commissioning. The theory is that there is an open, transparent and fair process which gives all organisations bidding for a contract an equal opportunity of "winning". Let's look at how level this playing field is.

First an anecdote! Many years ago I was heavily involved in campaigning for the rights of people with mental health problems and one of the key issues, as always, was access to work. One particularly enterprising council that I came across had, through long experience and monitoring, realised that no-one...

Shared Topic Areas

26 Jul 2013 - 16:14 by Mike Wild

I've mentioned previously that there's a danger that this blog becomes a series of rants about things I'm angry about. Well not today, at least!

Our State of the Voluntary Sector report shows there are over 3000 voluntary and community groups in Manchester. I don't know them all but I do know a lot of them and one of the great pleasures of my job is that I get to see some of the amazing things happening in groups across Manchester and meet some fantastic people.

The scale and diversity of that effort is...

4 Jul 2013 - 16:48 by Nigel Rose

Spot purchasing is a new and strange idea to many voluntary organisations but is becoming more common as public bodies seek to reduce costs. It can be a far riskier form of funding if it contributes significantly to the financial viability of an organisation, as there are usually no guarantees of income, unlike grants or fixed contracts. This article examines a few of the considerations that need to be taken into account when developing a pricing plan. Some of the key concepts are emboldened. This article does not attempt to deal with the ethical issues arising for...