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I read an article recently in Third Sector magazine debating whether new advertising codes, due to come into force later this year, are a good or bad idea. The codes will allow charities to use comparisons in their ads, and will bring charity advertising in line with commercial advertising.
Last week I talked about part 1: analysing a charity in two hours, and focused on the first hour of desk research. This week, I'm talking about the phone call with the chief executive.
What is more important, happiness now or building for the future? Ultimately we probably want a good balance—to enjoy the present, including friends, family, good food and fun, alongside a more cognitive sense of life satisfaction, or knowledge that we are succeeding.
Sometimes the social problems that we research at NPC can seem intractable with little hope of things improving. We see charities doing great work but we don't always see social problems going away. 100 years ago charities were set up to tackle poverty in Tower Hamlets in London. But 100 years later, it still remains one of the poorest areas of London, with no sign of that changing soon.
It's been a whirlwind few weeks finalising the first Social Impact Bond with the Ministry of Justice, the UK government department. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Social Impact Bond (SIB) is a new, innovative way of increasing the amount of money spent on services that tackle social problems before they become entrenched and expensive.
'There’s a lot to do if a funder wants to analyse a charity. What if the funder only has two hours to make a decision? Or a day at most?’
Back in 2009, NPC took over the work of Intelligent Giving (IG), a donor advisory website that profiles and rates charities according to the transparency of their annual reports. I joined NPC too, having previously worked at IG.
NPC launched a manifesto for social impact this week, to add its voice to the throngs of charities launching manifestos right now. So what's different in ours? What does NPC have to add to the policy landscape around charities and their funding?
'Working in partnership' is one of those things that everyone wants to hear. But is it always a good thing? During my recent research on young offenders, a charity CEO took me aside and told me in a conspiratorial whisper that ‘Partnership working is the suppression of mutual loathing in pursuit of government money’.
Today, NPC is publishing our first manifesto ahead of the forthcoming UK election. Not another one, I hear some of you moan. But our manifesto is different (I know everyone says that, but hang in there). Our focus is narrow, specifically on charities and social impact only, the things we really care about.