Proving your worth to Whitehall

As it prepares for a tough comprehensive Spending Review in Autumn 2010, the government has posed a series of questions to government departments to force them to focus on what services are essential and what can be cut. The questions are, in the words of one journalist, “brutal.”

Yet if charities can successfully answer the questions being asked of Whitehall departments it could help them build a stronger case for survival. They might become more resistant to departments looking to make cuts. Their case could also be more compelling to local authorities. It could even help charities to build a stronger case for being scaled up, as discussed in NPC’s recent report Scaling up for the Big Society.

In Proving your worth to Whitehall NPC shows that charities are capable of answering these Treasury questions, by providing an example of potential answers for Volunteers in Child Protection, a project run by CSV. The paper also contains a blank set of the Treasury questions and encourages all membership organisations to ask their members to answer them. By collecting these answers, NPC believes that memberships organisations can help to provide a more compelling narrative for the sector in the face of cuts.

 If charities are to survive and even thrive in these tough times then they need to face up to all challenges. This means subjecting themselves to the same scrutiny faced by government spending departments.

Martin Brookes, report author