Cultural Playing Field

Research into small community organisations by Robin Simpson
May 1, 2008, 4:00 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

On Wednesday morning I was in London for the penultimate meeting of the Volunteering Hub Scrutiny Committee. As well as agreeing the process for the final evaluation of the Volunteering Hub, we heard a presentation on some of the research commissioned by the Hub from the Institute for Volunteering Research. This included two studies of particular relevance to the voluntary arts sector: ‘The impact of public policy on Volunteering in Community-based organisations’ which concluded that small, community-based organisations are increasingly being ‘molded’ by the external forces of legislation, regulation and funding; and ‘Volunteering to lead: a study of leadership within small volunteer-led groups’ which included some interesting observations about succession issues in small organisations. Both these studies also referred to the tendency of small, community-based organisations to link to specific specialist infrastructure organisations (such as artform umbrella bodies) rather than generic voluntary sector support organisations or the volunteering infrastructure. This seems to reinforce my view that, to support the mass of very small community organisations effectively, specialist infrastructure organisations need to be better resourced and the generic support organisations need to work more closely with these specialist bodies. You can read the research summaries at

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

small community based groups by definition should empower a community to fulfil its potential by utilising its own resources independently of outside funding and statutory links

Comment by Paul

Not sure I completely agree with your generalisation Paul – there are lots of different kinds of small community based groups – but I do think it is true that many do not need or use statutory funding. My concern is that many groups seek to do what they do better by working through membership organisations or umbrella bodies and that these infrastructure organisations need better statutory recognition and support.

Comment by Robin Simpson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: