New report marks ‘crucial’ role of local infrastructure organisations
A new in-depth research report into small and medium-sized charities has highlighted the role and value of effective infrastructure organisations.
‘The value of small’ explores the distinctive contribution, value and experiences of small and medium-sized charities (SMCs) in England and Wales. The research was undertaken by a team led by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University, and including Sheffield Business School (SBS), the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) at the Open University, and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR).
The report notes that: "Stakeholders and smaller charities spoke of the crucial role of an effective local infrastructure organisation". It goes on to explore examples of formal collaboration and partnership working, acknowledging the role that infrastructure organisations have played in facilitating successful collaborations between SMC’s, larger charities and the public sector.
The value of small captures the very distinct contribution and value of SMCs operating at local level, but it also highlights the major challenges they face, concluding with recommendations and calls to action to funders and commissioning bodies. The recommendations include funding reform, reframing and strengthening the role of social value and sustaining healthy local ecosystems.