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New report from SMK Social Change Project

Yesterday saw the launch of a report published by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation: Social Power: How Civil Society Can ‘Play Big’ and Truly Create Change.

The report looks to identify the lessons the voluntary sector can learn from recent successes in achieving social change. It is based on a year-long conversation with practitioners through a “Community of Practice” – a group of people drawn from across the not-for-profit sector – plus a review of existing evidence, focuses on what the voluntary sector could achieve if it was working to its full potential and how it could contribute to positive social change if it was working optimally and without constraint.

“Working optimally, without unreasonable constraint and as a respected partner of government and business, it holds the keys to addressing some of society’s most pressing problems: from trans-generational issues like climate change to knife crime and street homelessness.”

But the report says there are concerns that the sector is increasingly working to “commercial models and cultures” that prevent it from working as effectively as it could.

The report calls for sector leaders to be bolder and challenge the status quo in their own organisations and beyond.

Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, said the sector was “fighting with one hand tied behind its back” and “urges the sector to embrace its inner radical and take a much bolder and braver approach to driving change, not least by putting parochial concerns aside and genuinely collaborating.”

Read the report