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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E240 - The Future Of Civil Society Report With Andrew Purkis OBE

"If the vision of this commission were realised, it’s very very supportive and favourable to the contribution of civil society, it wants government at different levels to do more to support and recognise it, it wants business in particular to do a lot more…" - Andrew Purkis OBE

In this episode we speak with friend of the show, Andrew Purkis OBE, about The Future of Civil Society report. We discuss how the report was developed, get an idea of it’s main thesis, and discuss the wider context of the report and what it says to both those working within and outside of civil society.

1. How do we define Civil Society?

How do you define Civil Society? With only 7% of registered charities raising more than £500,000 per year, and the remaining 93% of registered charities still only representing a subset of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the UK, not to mention, trade unions, and faith groups fitting within the definition – true Civil Society is currently hard to quantify.

2. Compilation of the national accounts

Andrew spoke about the compliation of The National Accounts. At the moment large sectors of Civil Society are excluded from it. The report makes a case that this should be reformed to give a clearer indication of how Civil Society and types of charities are positively impacting the economy.

3. Better data for the Civil Society

The Future of Civil Society report highlights a greater need for a wider demonstration of impact from civil society as a whole, but the challenge here aside from gaining consensus to do this, is how we all find the resource to provide this data.

Among both charities and funders technology may be providing better opportunities for consistency and an improvement in reporting practices. But to unify this process and aid it we also need conserted efforts to manage and promote impact measurements across the sector to encourage wider participation. More than just demonstrating individual impact, we need to work together to enlarge the funding pot.

4. Convincing wider society of the need and value of supporting charities

Here on Charity Chat we have spoken with several contributors about the value of consortium approaches to funding and between funders to provide greater impact for the charities they are supporting. Growing recognition and support of the work that civil society does has the potential power to grow support from government, business and individuals, and should be an aspiration for all of us.

Find out more about Andrew Purkis OBE

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This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor Work for Good. Work for Good believes everyone should be able to turn the work they do into good. Through their fundraising platform, they offer charities a way to engage and work with small businesses, including founders, owners and sole traders who want to make an impact for charities through their sales. To find out more, please visit

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.


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