Press release – Third Sector Research Centre
Monday, February 11, 2013
Posted by: Robin Wehrlin
Can third sector leaders find a unified voice, asks Third Sector
discussion paper, released today by the Third Sector Research Centre, argues
that leadership in the third sector may need to play an increasing role in
protecting the voice of voluntary organisations and those they represent.
out that the sector’s huge diversity makes it difficult to speak for the sector
as a whole. It highlights the importance of field specific leadership – such as
umbrella bodies for those working in mental health, housing or criminal
centre’s research also finds that, despite the diversity of the sector, there
is still an important role for national level leadership in influencing policy
and public debate. Leaders of local third sector organisations, interviewed by
the Centre, pointed out that they did not have the time or resources to
influence the policies that were affecting their organisations.
This is the
final discussion paper released as part of a series of dialogues on the future
of the third sector. Previous dialogues have highlighted the difficulty of
speaking about, or for, such a diverse set of organisations as a single entity.
Yet they have also highlighted the need for voluntary organisations to assert
their value, and create a strong narrative for why they are here.
discussion papers have also raised concerns about loss of voice in the sector,
and cuts to services that protect some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable
groups in society. In this context, there may be more room for third sector
leadership to promote shared visions of social justice, voice and wellbeing.
up for the sector, its causes and beneficiaries, TSRC’s leadership research
highlights the importance of leaders resonating with their audiences. This
might come through personal experience or retaining close connections with the
day to day work of charities, for example.
Macmillan, who wrote the paper, said ‘As concerns are increasingly expressed
about the ability of organisations to speak out against government policy, leadership
in the sector may need to play an increasing role in campaigning, and
protecting the voice and interests of both voluntary organisations and those
they represent. Of course, we need to take differences between different
organisations and parts of the sector very seriously – but despite the
diversity there may be room for leadership that enables the sector to assert
and debate its values and value on a larger scale.’
people to discuss these issues at thirdsectorfutures.org.uk