The First Principle of Voluntary Action: Essays on the independence of the voluntary sector (2009)
Since 2006 the Baring Foundation’s grants programme ‘Strengthening the Voluntary Sector’, has taken a close interest in deepening understanding of the changing nature of the independence of voluntary action. Given the advantages and disadvantages that can ensue from greater contact between voluntary organisations and all branches of government, Baring is interested in exploring how these new relationships can operate to greatest effect. This report contains contributions addressing this question from seven countries – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Canada, Germany and the USA. The essays confirm that independence is fundamental to the principle and practice of voluntary action and conclude that prime responsibility for protecting independence lies with the sector itself.