NAVCA has published a report to highlight how a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) commissioning model provides better services for people and communities, improves their wellbeing and can save money.

The problems commissioners have working with smaller charities are well documented and the Office for Civil Society recently set up a Civil Society Implementation Group (CSIG) to tackle them. This NAVCA report offers a solution.

The SPOC model

  • overcomes barriers that commissioners claim make it difficult for them to work with smaller charities.
  • involves a trusted single non-provider charity building a coalition of small local charities and taking on the grant or contract management, monitoring and administration, enabling commissioners to focus on strategic planning.
  • Small local charities are generally set up to serve the very specific needs of a particular community and are able to focus on people’s needs rather than large generic services that too often miss their target.

The problems commissioners have working with smaller charities are well documented and the Office for Civil Society recently set up a Civil Society Implementation Group (CSIG) to tackle them. This NAVCA report offers a solution. It explores existing successful SPOC models and describes the essential elements that anyone - commissioners or charities – wanting to set up a SPOC needs to put in place. It creates a compelling case for this approach and paves the way for the development of more SPOCs.

Neil Cleeveley, Chief Executive of NAVCA, said;
"Government and commissioners need to take heed of this report. It shows how a SPOC model improves outcomes and saves money. Commissioners need to be able to either adopt this model or be ready to demonstrate how their chosen alternative is better at improving people's wellbeing.
Times are tough for small charities. Austerity is largely responsible, but a decline in grant funding and poor commissioning practices (particularly the trend towards bigger and bigger contracts) have contributed. Funding is now falling far faster for small charities than big ones. This isn't just bad news for small charities themselves. There is a growing body of evidence that smaller, personalised services produce better outcomes, save money and are extremely popular with service users.

"In the absence of political support, we're coming up with a solution. Around the country, in places as varied as Hackney, Rotherham and Northampton, charities are setting up their own single point of contact commissioning models. These are reinvigorating local services by channelling vital funding into smaller local charities and voluntary groups."