Management skills in charities and other voluntary bodies will be scrutinised in a government review led by Dame Mary Marsh, chief executive of prominent third-sector group the Clore Social Leadership Programme.
Marsh, also a former leader of the NSPCC, will examine how business managers can share their expertise with voluntary organisations and recommend strategies for improvement – although she is keen to stress that the review, based at the Cabinet Office, will not be a one-way street.
“The intention is to share learning about effective approaches to leadership development and skills across sectors,” Marsh told Professional Manager. “We are not prejudging which way the learning may go. The social sector – charities and social enterprises – can benefit from corporate or private-sector experience and pro bono resources. But we also have experience for them to learn from us too.”
Marsh’s Cabinet Office appointment comes at a time when the government is actively dissecting layers of regulation around third-sector groups, with a view to making it easier to set up charities or social enterprises. The investigation recently produced a progress report highlighting potential means for stripping “bureaucratic frustrations” out of the system.
Last month, Marsh received the Luke FitzHerbert Lifetime Achievement honour at the Third Sector Excellence Awards. Charities Aid Foundation chief executive John Low said that, throughout her career, Marsh had applied “a deep understanding of the needs of children and a successful track record of organisational leadership while in the public eye. Although they might not know it, many owe much to Mary. She is one of those exceptional people that you occasionally have the privilege to encounter.”