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RAISING CHARITIES' STANDARDS - LOTTERY AWARD WILL INCREASE VOLUNTARY SECTOR'S EFFECTIVENESS

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The National Council for Voluntary Organisations welcomed today's ...
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations welcomed today's

announcement by the National Lottery Charities Board of a major grant

towards the development of quality standards for voluntary organisations.

The£477,873 grant, awarded under the board's programme of community

involvement, is to enable a three year programme, undertaken by the Quality Standards Task Group, to develop a quality standards for voluntary organisations in England. The common quality framework will provide voluntary organisations with a way to benchmark their activities, both against charities and against companies in the public and private sectors.

NCVO vice chair Rodney Buse and chair of the quality standards task group commenting on the announcement said: 'This award is excellent news for the voluntary sector. I am delighted that the NLCB has decided to support this project. Now a framework of quality can be developed for use right across the voluntary sector, and assist voluntary organisations to be more efficient and effective. It will make a major difference to the sector and the contribution it makes to society.

'As the nation's Third Sector, voluntary organisations have a vital role to play in the delivery of services and in supporting individuals and communities. This award will place quality right at the heart of the sector's good work, and show that quality is not just confined to the private and public sectors.

'As well as improving the overall performance of the sector through better management practice, this project, by contributing to the continuous improvement in charities' performance, will help to build public trust and confidence in the voluntary sector.'

The project will develop common standards which can apply to small and large voluntary organisations, including community groups. By basing the project on the principles of continuous improvement, it will not be an 'accreditation system', but will instead be a 'toolkit' from which every voluntary organisation can benefit.

Notes

1. The Quality Standards project will use the Lottery grant to increase the competence of voluntary organisations, and to provide long-term support to the sector. Four working parties - drawn from those working in the sector - will be established to guide the work of a full-time Project Director, Development Officer and Administrator.

2. The Quality Standards Task Group was set up by NCVO following the

Deakin Commission report on the Future of the Voluntary Sector. The Task Group sought the views of organisations and individuals on quality standards. In February 1998, it published a `White Paper' setting out recommendations on quality management for the voluntary sector. These recommendations were widely supported and formed the basis for the application of Lottery funding.

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