Report on Conference at Wilton Park

In February 2009 the Foundation part sponsored a residential conference on climate change and international development at Wilton Park.


The First Principle of Voluntary Action

Report edited by Matthew Smerdon. The current focus of the Foundation’s Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme is on helping voluntary organisations to maintain their independence from government. The independence of voluntary action is a principle that has clear resonance in many other societies, in the UK, in Europe and across the Atlantic. The Baring Foundation commissioned essays from authors in seven countries (Canada, England, Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland, United States of America and Wales) to review issues relating to independence from government. Together, the essays confirm that independence is fundamental to the principle and practice of voluntary action. They explore the many ways in which independence can be threatened and power exercised over voluntary action. Finally they share lessons about what voluntary organisations can do to protect their independence.


The Effective Foundation: a literature review

Report by David Cutler. In recent years a number of authors especially in the USA but also in the UK and the rest of Europe have addressed the unique position of foundations and how this can best be applied for achieving maximum impact. Much of the key literature is considered and ten conclusions drawn.

Fair Deal for Familes? learning from the experience of parents with a learning disability

The Baring Foundation supports the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability through our special initiative for parents with learning difficulties and their children. This report, by the SCLD, marks an important step forward to wider awareness of this issue in Scotland.

Funding campaigning & policy work: The philanthropy of changing minds

The Foundation worked with City Parochial Foundation to hold a seminar for trusts and foundations on funding campaigning and social policy work. This report summarises the presentations and workshops at the seminar.

It’s the System, Stupid! Radically Rethinking Advice

AdviceUK received an STVS – independence grant in 2006 to develop an alternative approach to organising local legal advice services. This report, by AdviceUK, summarises the findings of this work that have led to new pilots being set up in Nottingham, Manchester and Coventry.

The new politics of climate change; why we are failing and how we could succeed

The Foundation has supported a new pamphlet by Stephen Hale of Green Alliance which outlines the role that the third sector can play in persuading politicians to take action to combat climate change on the scale that is needed. You can dowload the report from this link to Green Alliance’s website The new politics of climate change; why we are failing and how we could succeed.



New Self Assessment Tool for the Independence of Voluntary Organisations

As part of our Strengthening the Voluntary Sector programme on independence we have produced a self assessment questionnaire and resource list. It has been launched in collaboration with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Commissioning, Contracts and the Third Sector

In October our Core Costs Club (recipients of major grants from the Foundation) met to discuss the above. Presentations from three of the speakers are linked to this document.

Environmental auditing

Report of a roundtable meeting on environmental auditing.