Association of Guernsey Charities publishes Strategy for the Third Sector

 

Our charities, and voluntary and community organisations, collectively known as the Third Sector, form the glue that binds together the fabric of our society. It provides the difference between what our community needs and what Government provides.

 

There has never been a formal Government Strategy to recognise the vital importance of the Third Sector to our community, and to help it through the many challenges it faces both now, and those we can see coming towards us.  

 

The 2014 Social Compact attempted to begin this but was never adopted or pursued as formal Government policy with any resource or momentum.  The most important commitment by the States in the Compact was “to foster and encourage development of the Third Sector”, but nothing material was ever done to support this commitment. 

 

So, the Association of Guernsey Charities has spent some considerable time engaging with its 300+ members and has developed a Strategy for the Third Sector based on members views, needs and constraints, so that we can jointly articulate what is needed “to foster and encourage development of the Third Sector”. The Strategy forms the collective view of the Third Sector in Guernsey and has now been published for the first time.

 

The Association of Guernsey Charities, on behalf of the organisations within the Third Sector (charities, voluntary organisations and community organisations), are calling on the States of Guernsey to recognise their obligation to our community by making sure that the Third Sector is both successful and relevant to what our community needs.  Our members have now told us that adopting our Strategy formally, and properly resourced, is both vital to our community and will present opportunities to reduce the footprint of Government by delivering services effectively, efficiently and fairly.

 

We are also calling on Third Sector organisations in Guernsey to do their bit to develop the Sector, particularly in the area of Governance and Transparency.

 

The Strategy calls for:

 

1              Proper leadership for the Sector, in particular:

-    appointment of a Third Sector Minister, development of overarching States Policy, and proper resourcing of an agenda for change

-    raising the professionalism of the sector with a dedicated resource providing better communication and training needs, funded by the new Social Investment Commission

 

2              Enhance Third Sector governance and transparency, in particular:

-      Implement new Charity Laws, currently under discussion, 

-      organisations should routinely and voluntarily publish financial information about themselves and their activities, and their governing documents

 

3              Improve the finances available to Third Sector members, in particular:

-      establish a properly funded and functional Social Investment Commission

-      implement the proposals for expanded “Gift Aid” and Payroll Giving set out in the 2017 Charitable Giving Review

 

4              Proper focus and strategy on how to encourage more volunteering within our community, in the face of demographic changes otherwise likely to reduce the numbers of volunteers and increase the numbers in need of help.

 

5              Improve the way that with Third Sector members and Government engage with each other, with a view to greater transparency and trust, less bureaucracy, and encouragement for Government and Third Sector organisations to commission services.


The full Strategy document can be found here