The festivities are over and civil society is back at work. So what, perhaps, might our hopes be for the year ahead?
Short of a major change in government policy, here is my own particular wish list….
- That grant funders and public sector commissioners think longer term, allowing organisations to plan more effectively, innovate, develop, and hold on to good staff and volunteers.
- On a similar note, that grant funders and public sector commissioners recognise that realistic core costs, including for management and staffing, are necessary to bring successful outcomes.
- That the regulators and public policy-makers engage more proactively with the sector.
- That the media looks beyond the small number of negative stories; and recognises the positive contribution being made on a daily basis by civil society.
- That small charities and voluntary groups continue to thrive; and do not get left behind as fundraising and governance become increasingly digital.
- That even at this late stage, Article 50 is revoked.
As for the sector itself, it will have plenty to do as austerity continues; and as Brexit, in whatever form, really starts to impact on social and economic policy. So civil society will need to ensure it engages with local communities, that it stays relevant to those it serves, and that it works together for the common good.
Happy new year.