Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Keep Calm But Don't Carry On

It’s become a bit of a cliché to suggest that we are currently living through a period of significant change but it’s important to understand we’ve really yet to see the full scale of the changes our sector will have to face. We’re only two years in to a seven year programme of cuts to public spending whilst also having to adjust to large scale structural reform of significant parts of the public sector. Even if your organisation has secure, independent funding we’re also seeing growth in demand for many services as more individuals find themselves in poverty and as other, less secure service providers cut back or close down.

Already there are reports that more than 80% of charities have held a recent strategic review and if your organisation isn’t currently managing a process of change then perhaps it should be.

In this blog we’ll be discussing many of the issues likely to have a strategic impact on the sector, such as payment by results, social finance, public sector mutuals and some of the government’s new policy initiatives. We’ll also have guest contributions from colleagues in organisations in a process of managing change and who may have unique insights on the opportunities and threats likely to emerge in the coming years. This week I’ll be highlighting the scale of change to public spending at a local level and next week we’ll look at the Whole Place pilot in Greater Manchester, part of the government’s Community Budgets pilot and an opportunity for the public sector to create a new Greater Manchester model of delivery.

It’s becoming clear that the “as is” of current provision will not be sustainable in its current form and we’ll be operating in a radically different environment in the years to come. In this environment it’s important that an organisation such as GMCVO helps support the sector by highlighting some of the change we’re likely to see and to help start the debates we need to have. This blog will be part of that process but we also need to be led by your own experiences and needs so please do keep us informed of your views and questions.