Digital issues among priorities for proposed new charity body

New Philanthropy Capital has proposed the setting up of a Civil Society Improvement Agency to help charities improve in areas such as technology and diversity.

Joe Lepper | 4th Sep 19

Embracing digital issues has been named among the priorities for a proposed new body to oversee improvement in the charity sector.

The setting up of the new body, to be called the Civil Society Improvement Agency, has been recommended by New Philanthropy Capital.

A policy paper outlining the move said that the agency would provide a “gateway” for charities to access expertise, data, research and training on issues including “understanding how critical agendas, like digital and diversity, can be successfully embraced.”

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The proposed agency would also oversee peer reviews of charities.

“We would argue that our sector needs this kind of work even more than other sectors, given the lack of available benchmarking and other comparative data, and the heterogeneity of the sector,” states the report.


Improving diversity

Promoting diversity within the charity sector is another key aim.

NPC chief executive Dan Corry said: “In an ideal world, we would want a social sector that is effective, efficient, diverse, working in the places and for the causes that most need it, learning from each other, collaborating where it makes sense (both within the sector and across other sectors), and constantly striving to be better and do better.

> See also: Comic Relief taps into tech to improve diversity

“As we know, due to its very nature, there are surprisingly few forces pushing civil society in this direction. In contrast, there is an argument that the very ‘voluntary’ nature of civil society means that we should not strive too hard for these things. Charities pop up where people want to offer their labour, energy and funding. It is not always rational. The result is that many people don’t see optimising effectiveness as the key purpose of the sector.”