15th May 2013

Keyworth Centre, London South Bank University, London , United Kingdom

Despite the absence of a few of the luminaries (or usual suspects) the day was well attended with more than 30 people appearing for the seminar. Peter Maple hosted on behalf of LSBU and chaired the four sessions.

David Horton-Smith was the keynote speaker challenging the audience with a review of his take on “Altruistics” and the range of research there is on the voluntary and nonprofit sector. David took us through a paper shortly to be published and listing more than 80 journals world-wide with a focus on the sector.

Anthea Hucklesby and Mary Corcoran followed David’s session with a most interesting paper on Voluntary Sector Involvement in criminal justice. In particular they reviewed some of the challenges facing organisations attempting positive interventions. The issues of measuring outcomes and payment by results continue to be particularly challenging and there was considerable discussion around some of the limitations in the light of Government proposals and increased contracts with the private sector.

After a pleasant lunch served on the 8th Floor of the Keyworth building looking North over the Thames and Westminster, Magda Zasada presented an ethnographic study of three community organisations and how a “hybrid” approach may prove to be more effective than some traditional structures in delivering effective and sustainable health promotion services. As always questions of sustainable funding and fundraising feature prominently in such discussions.

Finally Eddy Hogg treated us to an excellent review of a paper co-authored with Beth Breeze, Who Gives, Who Gets, which explored the relationship between givers and receivers. Looking at the American suggestion that philanthropy often simply recycles resources within socio-economic groups, the paper tentatively suggests that there may be similar patterns in the UK and that more research would be very valuable in determining whether, in fact, donors do often support charities that, in turn, help “people like them” and whether those supporters can be persuaded to help people with very different life experiences.

In all the papers provided some particularly interesting perspectives and the lively discussion following each was an indication of how well they have been received. Finally thanks should go to all those involved in organising the day and making it a quiet success.