The TPA investigated how Britons would choose to spend £200 that had to be allocated to a good cause. It’s the exact same question that YouGov asked for the Centre for Social Justice in July 2005 and it has produced very similar results…
The results reveal that very few people would entrust the £200 to local or central government. Fifteen times as many people have more faith in a local charity, a campaigning organisation or a third world charity. Local organisations are preferred to central organisations. Organisations undertaking practical work are preferred to campaigning organisations.
My own work at the CSJ and during the Listening to Britain’s Churches consultation convinces me that innovative, community-based charities are much better at poverty-fighting than the state. I would love to see the voucherisation of a large proportion of the
money that the state currently dispenses to the third sector. Other stakeholder-directed funding mechanisms would include more use of matched funding and asset transfer. The recent IDS report included a number of recommendations as to how the best poverty-fighting organisations might receive more help from the state. Cameron Watt discusses the main parties’ different approaches to the voluntary sector here.