The Government White Paper on Giving, out yesterday, outlines how the Government, organisations and businesses can work together to make it easier for people to give time and money.
So, like many organisations in the sector we've been looking forward to seeing what this Giving White Paper would offer. With 10 years of volunteering expertise under our belt, we put forward our own ideas (through the Green Paper), especially around giving time. In fact, some of our responses were not just ideas but established activities that are already improving the volunteering experience.
For example, TimeBank’s ‘Volurater’ a Trip Advisor style rating and review system allows volunteers to review their experiences volunteering at any opportunity for any organisation. This information helps other volunteers decide which opportunities are right for them as well as provide valuable feedback to the organisations providing the experience.
The White Paper has come up with the same idea as follows: "We are used to rating services and even people on websites such as TripAdvisor and eBay. This sort of technology can also be used to help volunteers to build up personal reputations and testimonials to create ‘giving CVs’ and provide them with comfort and guidance, and may prove more powerful and much less bureaucratic than conventional checks and balances."
It goes on to say that, like our rating and review system - local knowledge of citizens gives them the chance to rate the value and safety of organisations and their activities much better than distant regulators.
And secondly, TimeBank’s MP volunteer scheme, which already has a significant number of MP endorsements, also outlined in response to the Green Paper, has seemingly gained the Prime Minister’s approval as he encouraged MP’s to volunteer in his speech on the launch of the White Paper yesterday.
We look forward to seeing how the Government’s White Paper pledges develop. Whilst it may be flattering to gain endorsement of something we're already delivering, we hope that funds ensue to enable us to develop and improve our offer. The ultimate money saver will be to use what we and other organisations have already put into place rather than re-inventing the wheel!