(2) what progress the Third Sector Funding and Investment Review has made on the development of a strategic framework for investment in the third sector by his Department; and if he will make a statement.
In July 2008 the Department published a response to the strategic review of Third Sector Funding and Investment consultation, undertaken between December 2007 and March 2008. A copy has been placed in the Library.
The vision for future funding of the third sector included: investment in strategic partners; support for innovation excellence and service development; promote and support volunteering; and contracting for expertise required at national level. There was strong support for this vision and the principles underpinning this approach.
From the feedback on the proposals we have developed a funding framework that underpins a wider third sector investment programme. The programme will be developed over time as more funding schemes in the Department are brought into the framework. For 2009-10 the third sector investment programme will include:
Innovation Excellence and Service Development Fund - this replaces the Section 64 General Scheme of grants - project funding; and
Strategic Partner Programme - this replaces the Section 64 General scheme of grants-core funding.
We anticipate that from 2010-11 a new volunteer investment fund, building on the existing Opportunities for Volunteering Scheme, will form part of the Third Sector Investment Programme. Moving forward, policy specific funding schemes and initiatives will be drawn under the banner of the wider programme.
This process will result in transformation of previous piecemeal arrangements for funding the third sector into a strategic portfolio of investments that will more explicitly support delivery of the Department’s objectives and priorities supporting a fundamental step change in the Department’s funding relationships with third sector organisations.