Mixed response from UK voluntary sector to Giving White Paper

The promotion of volunteering and innovation in giving and more support for new forms of giving were the keynotes of the UK government’s White Paper on Giving published on Monday.

Among the highlights are a £10 million Social Action Fund and a £30 million voluntary infrastructure fund. The Social Action Fund will ‘support new models that incentivize people to give, such as “complementary currencies” that offer people credit for volunteering,’ says the paper. The government will invest £700,000 through the Social Action Fund in Philanthropy UK, which offers advice on effective giving to aspiring philanthropists. A further £1 million will be given to the youth charity YouthNet to support its Do it website, which links people to volunteering opportunities. The £30 million 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 organizations’, offering activities such as ‘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.’ Other measures include a year-long campaign to promote payroll giving, and ‘challenge prizes’, which will reward schemes that encourage volunteering using mobile phones. The paper also says that banks and cashpoint providers have unanimously agreed to work together to enable donations to be made at ATMs by 2012.

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