Standing apart, working together: a study of the myths and realities of voluntary and community sector independence: summary

Document type
Corporate author(s)
National Councils for Voluntary Organisations (Great Britain)
Date of publication
1 February 2004
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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Summary report exploring the issues around voluntary and community sector independence. The report examines what is meant by independence, who and what can constrain independent action and the implications of these relationships and constraints. The report identifies three ways in which independence can become undermined: incorporatism, in voluntary and community sector organisations, or aspects of the sector, becoming an arm of the state; isomorphism, in voluntary and community sector organisations loosing their distinctive approaches and values; and incapacity, in the fear of the withdrawal of government funding preventing voluntary and community sector organisations from acting independently. The report considers that absolute independence is not a possibility and that the task for voluntary and community sector organisations should be to manage interdependence.

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