News: £30m to Support Infrastructure

David Cameron unveiled a £10m Social Action Fund as part of its Giving White Paper today. The raft of measures include £30m to support voluntary sector infrastructure, moves to enable cashpoint donations and a 'giving summit' in the autumn.

The £30m local infrastructure fund, which will be delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, will support the development of "more efficient local hubs to offer better-integrated support services for front-line civil society organisations", the paper says.

"The types of activity supported will include: developing new services and redesigning existing ones; establishing new partnerships, alliances, mergers and/or shared back-office provision; staff training for new roles; and purchasing expert advice and support," it says.

The paper also says:

  • Government ministers will also give one day a year to volunteer at a charity or voluntary group of their choice
  • The government will hold a giving summit in the autumn aimed at generating new fundraising ideas.
  • Banks and cashpoint providers have unanimously agreed to work together to enable donations to be made at ATMs by 2012.
  • The government will invest £700,000 through the Social Action Fund in Philanthropy UK, which offers advice on effective giving to aspiring philanthropists, run by the Association of Charitable Foundations.
  • A further £1m will be given to the youth charity YouthNet to support its Do it website, which links people to volunteering opportunities.
  • The Social Action Fund will also "support new models that incentivise people to give, such as ‘complementary currencies’ that offer people credit for volunteering".
  • The government will offer space on government-run websites, starting with Directgov, to promote online giving services from today.
  • The government will also consider how online peer review systems such as the holiday review website TripAdvisor could be used to help volunteers "build up personal reputations and testimonials… and may prove more powerful and much less bureaucratic than conventional checks and balances".