The voluntary sector needs itself to change

A series of articles in the 2014 Civil Exchange publication Making Good: the future of the voluntary sector called for a radical reframing of purpose in the voluntary sector:

·       Lynne Berry asked whether the sector is really ready to move away from ‘ideas of dependency, vulnerability and disengagement’ and allow older beneficiaries the power and agency they increasingly expect.

·       Danny Kruger argued that refocusing around opportunities not problems requires a significant culture change in the sector itself, and he called for a “bolder charity sector” that ‘fight[s] with everything in us to avoid becoming the poverty industry.’

·       Steve Wyler drew attention to the transformative power of the ‘common good’ in which ‘power and ownership and risk and reward are distributed more widely, trust and friendships are built [and] new forms of solidarity emerge.’

·       Paul Farmer called for a a move from acting as campaigners and doers, to becoming ‘changemakers’ and ‘enablers’: voluntary sector changemakers support social action initiated by others within the community or facilitate this wider action; enablers work with others to ‘create a different debate, change the environment, help people to help themselves.’