In September 2020 MP Danny Kruger published his report on how civil society can work together to recover from the covid-19 pandemic.
Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant sets out ‘a vision for a more local, more human, less bureaucratic, less centralised society’. There are many important elements that we, as a sector, can take from the report, as we move forward into the recovery phase.
While charities, community groups and other organisations operating in the third sector have been eagerly awaiting the report, it’s vital that we now follow it up with real action. But what has happened since? And where do we go from here?
The New Social Covenant
Established by Kruger and Miriam Cates MP, the NSU is not a think tank, but rather a group that exists to promote ideas and policy suggestions from a range of people. The covenant has come up with a set of 12 propositions for the social sector, which you can read on their website. Only time will tell what impact these propositions have on the third sector.
Kruger wrote that ‘digital technology is bringing about a step-change in civil society.’ But this change can only happen if we continue to embrace digital solutions that benefit the whole sector. We need to invest in digital technology that makes our lives easier, reduces inefficient processes and delivers a greater impact for the third sector.
The Kruger report references some of these potential digital solutions, such as ‘platforms matching volunteers to tasks’ and platforms that ‘aggregate funding applications and reduce duplication in making and assessing funding bids’.
It’s here that Brevio can really support the sector. At its very core, our platform is designed to remove inefficiencies and duplication in the process of submitting, receiving and managing grant applications.
Brevio automates the initial steps in grant applications, connecting charities and funders based on their funding needs and their funding criteria. This can free up vital time and resources, which can then be used to develop long-term strategies and build stronger relationships between charities and funders – essential elements to their recovery journey.
Digital solutions, like Brevio, can and should play a key role in the recovery efforts. But perhaps most importantly, our solution – a matching platform – is built and ready to be adopted by UK charities and funders. We aren’t just talking about how we can help, we’re doing it.
The report also focused heavily on the role of data. ‘Data and digital bring the possibility of great democratisation – a more distributed, less hierarchical social model,’ wrote Kruger.
Essentially the report advocates for better use and sharing of data by civil society organisations to enable smarter decision-making and greater collaboration. ‘The path ahead is clear enough: we have to measure the right things; get the right data; and deploy tech well.’
Brevio fully supports the use of open data across the sector. With greater sharing of data between organisations, charities and funders can make smarter decisions about where to focus their efforts.
As an important source of data itself, Brevio can help strengthen the use of data across the sector. For example, Brevio’s data can help to establish where there is the greatest funding need. Put simply, funders can use Brevio’s criteria builder to research and gain important insights into which charities are most in need.
Brevio is committed to making data as accessible as possible. Which is why our platform has been designed to give funders and charities access to all their data, beyond their use of Brevio.
While the report argues that digital and data solutions should be ‘non-proprietary and non commercial’, it’s often difficult for government and non-profits to innovate quickly and work in an agile way.
Brevio has been established to solve a problem – the vast waste and inefficiency in grant applications. We are a social enterprise, founded and funded entirely by philanthropist, Marcelle Speller.
Marcelle has a track record of delivering technology solutions, both as a pioneering dot com entrepreneur, co-founding Holiday-Rentals.com in 1996, and as a social entrepreneur delivering systemic change to the third sector. She founded Localgiving.org in 2008, which she ran and funded for nine years, then handed over after raising over £20m for local charities.
Operating as a private limited company allows us to get things done quickly, attract the right talent and take greater risks for the benefit of the sector. But Brevio doesn’t always need to be a private company and we are always open to discuss how best to integrate back into the sector.
Regardless of where we sit in the spectrum of non-profit, government or private enterprises, it’s important that we, as a sector, now move into action.
At Brevio, we are excited by the possibilities of data and digital. We will continue working with charities, funders and other organisations across the sector, on a solution that best suits them.
We relish the opportunity to work more closely with the government on how we can best support the third sector through the recovery phase of covid-19 and beyond.
Get in touch to learn more about Brevio and our solution for the sector