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Reviews

Updated 07/12/2009

Click on the heading to go to the full Review. These are a mixture of News Features and more general Book Reviews. Please note that most are now a little old!

We have a Books Direct section, with other titles of interst to voluntary organisations, ready to order online and kept reasonably up-to-date.

Digitisation of Resources

Web-based projects being funded through NOF's digitisation of learning materials grant programme of particular interest to the voluntary sector extracted from the NOF-digitise site. Announced by the New Opportunities Fund, a lottery 'good cause' distributor, at the Science Museum, London, on 2nd July, these are part of £50 million in awards to more than 150 UK national and local organisations, creating a 'communities bank' of Internet learning resources. All projects must have their website finished and launched by December 2002.

Virtual Promise

A survey on internet use in the voluntary sector.

Much of the discussion is based on a survey of 150 of the largest charities/voluntary organisations. They achieved a 50 per cent return, but some key questions were not answered by a majority. While not a technical document, it has a good glossary of terms.

The report is aimed at those interested in the issue of internet use by the sector, rather than as a resource for practitioners. It does give definite opinions on what organisations ought to be doing, which are more cut and dried than is warranted, we believe.

Financial Fitness

Financial Fitness: The benefits of training for small voluntary organisations. Extract from report (Mar 01)

General Management Books

All of these books tackle management as a 'rounded' activity. In some areas, management of voluntary organisations is very different from in the commercial world (e.g. you are not focused on satisfying customers, but have to consider funders, beneficiaries, volunteers, trustees and often committed underpaid staff too). At other times, charity culture means that we are behind or in front on various issues - such as ethical considerations (ahead) or management training (behind).

Information Management

This is a much larger subject than most people realise. 'Well done' to DSC and the authors (Paul Ticher and Mike Powell) for recognising the need and producing a usable book covering much of the ground.

Voluntary Organisations & Social Policy

Based on papers originally presented to a two day symposium marking the twentieth anniversary of the LSE's Centre for Voluntary Organisations, the chapters have benefited from academic discussion and revision. Unlike many books produced from a variety of papers from different authors, this one does stack up as a coherent package. While not for the lazy reader, there is much of interest to those who get their 'hands dirty' in voluntary organisations.

Digital Futures

Although looking at the future of society in a 'digital future' in the broadest terms, and particularly the potential impact on the environment, this book does look at local communities, social inclusion and social capital too.

Do local Compacts matter?

Evaluating the significance of local compacts Research from Joseph Rowntree Foundation published Feb 01. Reproduced from their web page.

Differing Values

A report from the Public Management Foundation on research into the goals and motivations of senior public managers. It concludes that public sector managers and their private sector counterparts are motivated by very different things. In June this year, the Foundation undertook a nation-wide survey of 400 of the UKs top public, private and voluntary sector managers. Asked about their goals and about what motivates them to do their job well, managers in the three different sectors gave some revealingly different replies. Voluntary sector managers show a mixture of public and private sector views.

Learning, Training and Skills in the Sector

We take a look at new publications on Voluntary Sector Training, Workforce Development and the involvement of voluntary groups in the 'learning agenda'.