Recent criticism of charities has many in the sector feeling under threat. Certainly, George Osborne’s ‘charities are anti-business’ comments have been strongly challenged by NCVO and others, and Third Sector magazine has reported that some from the sector have set up a ‘criticism working group’ (focussing primarily on communications). The concern about…

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Evaluation seems to be flavour of the month (or perhaps year) – a new project for a national cancer charity kicked off in earnest this week. Fiveways’ role in this project is to evaluate the outcomes tool that the charity is using with service users, to consider whether it is the right…

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Amongst the ire last week following Brooks Newmark’s reported comments about charities staying out of politics and sticking to knitting, two facts were repeatedly glossed over by those numerous commentators lining up to tell him otherwise. Firstly, the ‘stick to knitting’ line was borrowed from a Board member of the Charity Commission,…

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Charities are increasingly investing time and resources in measuring their impact. An industry of training courses, tools and conferences has grown up around impact measurement so charities can, in the words of NPC, “really prove the difference they make”. Proving difference is evidently the main objective of two recent impact reports produced…

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We have just begun working with a new technology and education charity. Starting a new charity has a particular set of challenges. In this instance Fiveways is helping develop an income generation strategy, is assisting with staff structures and terms and conditions, and is ensuring that the governance of the organisation is…

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Whether (apparent) concerns over Executive pay, (un)ethical investment policies, challenges to the capacity to campaign, or the perfect storm of twitter, a Tory MP, and too political a poster, the charity sector has faced some difficult times in the national media over the last twelve months. But how does the sector handle this criticism?

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