I get seriously weary when people in the voluntary sector whinge about government funding cuts. Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, retiring chief of CSV is the latest whinger.
There's a simple answer to the funding problem, get off your lazy arses and raise some money.
I have many years experience in the charity world and, without wanting to sound like an old fogey, the voluntary sector's not what it used to be. Under the last governmnent it was effectively nationalised with the feeble charity sector accepting pots of cash from the government which they proceeded to waste on ineffectual pet projects and ludicrously expensive consultants and senior staff. Which is why the real work of the voluntary sector effectively stood still under Blair and Brown, but voluntary bodies became more political and more dependent on the politicians. Like everything Labour touch the voluntary sector is now a useless, bloated bureaucracy.
When I was in a position where I was advising new groups on establishing themselves I always advised them to avoid statutory funding where possible, as money always comes with strings attached. Charites should be free from those restraints so that they can remain independent and impartial, after all, part of their role should be to influence, and criticise where necessary both local and national government.
In my experience CSV typifies so many voluntary organisations. They are good at self-publicising, great at boasting about how much they do, but in reality only exist to further their senior staff, such as Dame Elisabeth Hoodless. A few years ago I had regular contact with CSV and could never work out what they actually did, certainly they were the worst of many bad voluntary organisations I came across.
It's now time the government, and local councils cut financial contributions to voluntary bodies, preferably to zero. Or to put it in politcal language, privatise the voluntary sector. We can then choose which charities we support, rather than having our taxes pumped into charities that we would never support on a voluntary basis. They would then have to prove their worth to you and me.