The Government is currently looking at ways of unlocking dormant funds to help boost the coffers of grassroots charities.
The plan, if successful, would make funds totalling £20 million, which are currently being held as assets in dormant charities, available to grassroots community organisations and also help improve the response to the Social Value Act.
In addition, the Government has proposed releasing around £90 million which is currently sat in inactive bank accounts. The plan would be to use the money to help set up an organisation to help disadvantaged youths, with a further £55 million of funding earmarked to establish a financial inclusion group.
Minister for Sport and Civil society, Tracey Crouch, said in a ministerial statement that the strategy would reaffirm the value that the Government places on civil society.
“Civil Society in England is broad. It encompasses the work of individuals, charities, youth organisations and communities. Civil Society is increasingly diverse, with growing numbers of social enterprises, mission led businesses and public service mutual, as well as many more private businesses and investors that want to make a meaningful contribution,” she said.
“I would like the strategy to help shape the future direction for our work with and for civil society, and encompass all who have a role to play in building a stronger and fairer society.”
As part of the proposals, the Government aims to set up a new Leadership Group with senior figures from business, investment and social sectors. It has also pledged to ensure that charity trustees reflect the communities they serve.
Explaining the thinking behind the proposals, the minister stated: “A group of civil society leaders wrote to us saying that “[the strategy] should not be focused on what the Government thinks the sector should do… instead [it] should set out how the Government can support and enable civil society to achieve its potential.” They also suggested that the strategy should be “living and breathing”, not a final communication, but the beginning of a process of policy development and collaboration.
“This is exactly what we intend to do. This strategy is designed to complement the work of the Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society led by Dame Julia Unwin, which is deliberately independent of Government.
“Our purpose is to cast a vision of how Government can help strengthen and support civil society in England. It will be complemented by the Government’s strategy on tackling loneliness, which will set out how we will support strong connections between people.”