31 Jan 2019 – Anju Bhatt
Small voluntary sector organisations play an important role for London’s residents. Working at a ‘hyper local’ level, often run by volunteers and with very little public funding they are a lifeline to communities that public bodies see as ‘hard to reach’ and are able to achieve a significant impact for the individuals they support. However, evidencing their impact for commissioners and potential funders can be problematic for these small groups.
Capacity and time are issues for organisations run by volunteers and implementing evaluation programmes based on outcomes is harder to implement than delivering an individual case studies, which do not carry the same weight as a quantitative based framework. Public sector commissioning favours larger organisations with the capacity to deliver to higher numbers and over an extended geographical reach. Many of the smaller, local organisations do not want to ‘scale up’- a process which would enable them to take part in these commissioning; smaller organisations often work effectively because they are small and have an intimate knowledge and understanding of their community’s strengths and needs