The future of civil society support in London - tender document

The call for tender document is available here - the deadline was 5th August and a team have now been appointed

London needs a vibrant civil society in order to prosper, yet these are unprecedented times economically for London’s communities. The voluntary sector, for example, is experiencing ever greater calls on its services whilst at the same time facing reduced funding. London local government has taken a 33% real cut in service funding from Central Government between 2009/10 and 2013/14 whilst deeper public sector funding cuts will come during 2015/16 and beyond.

In January 2015, the Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure (established by NAVCA) published its report Change for Good. We therefore wish to build on the findings of that report, given London’s unique characteristics and the current context.

We want to understand how civil society in the capital can best be supported in order to optimise its positive impact on Londoners. We believe that the challenges presented by the economic downturn also present opportunities to review and re-think how civil society is supported in London.

London Funders, with funding from City Bridge Trust, is seeking to commission research into the support needs (traditionally shorthanded to infrastructure needs) of London’s civil society (including London’s diverse voluntary and community sectors). This will include:

  • detailed scoping to map out what is already in place, who funds it and what is vulnerable to funding cuts;
  • how the expertise of the public, private and voluntary sectors in this area can be used for better effect;
  • the scope for economies of scale and collaboration;
  • how generalist and specialist provision can be balanced;
  • what the gaps are (or are likely to be) and how they might be resourced (or not);
  • identify opportunities for its development and how they might be resourced;

A call for tender document is available and includes full details of the context and a specification for the work. The deadline for proposals was Wednesday 5th August and interviews will be held in early September.

The project is being overseen by a cross-sector partnership and this specification has been co-produced with the leading regional voluntary sector infrastructure agencies, London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and Greater London Volunteering (GLV).