Big Society Resources

Below you can download a number of publications about the Big Society from the new economics foundation, Office for Civil Society, ResPublica, NESTA and the New Philanthropy Capital For further information on any of the publications you have downloaded here, please visit the respective website by clicking on the links.

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House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee: The Big Society (Seventeenth Report
of Session 2010–12, Volume I)

The Public Administration Select Committee have recently published a report which examines what the Big Society project means for Whitehall and whether the implementation of this policy is on track to succeed. Volume I contains the report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence.

© House of Commons, December 2011

House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee: The Big Society (Seventeenth Report
of Session 2010–12, Volume II)

Volume II of the Public Administration Select Committee Big Society report contains the oral and written evidence in support of Volume I (above). Additional written evidence is contained in
Volume III, available on the Committee website at

© House of Commons, December 2011

Creating Stronger and More Inclusive Communities which Value Everyone's Right to Contribute

This report is about innovations which unlock communities' strengths and recognizing that people with support needs can also be assets to their communities. It outlines seven principles for empowerment and inclusion for an age of austerity.

© new economics foundation, September 2011

Age of Opportunity: Older people, volunteering and the Big Society

The report, produced in conjunction with Independent Age, demonstrates that older people are already a fundamental part of the government's Big Society vision and considers how their level of engagement can be maintained and increased. 

© ResPublica, September 2011

Children and the Big Society: Backing communities to keep the next generation safe and happy

This report makes the case for Government to open up its ‘big society’ proposals to children and young people, particularly those who face disadvantage and neglect.

© ResPublica, 2011

Understanding the demand for and supply of social finance: Research to inform the Big Society Bank

This report, one in a series of three, aims to set out the nature of current and future demand for capital from social finance intermediaries and to develop an understanding of the mix of financing the Big Society Bank will need to support

© New Philanthropy Capital and NESTA, Published: April 2011

Investing for the good of society: Why and How Wealthy Individuals Respond

This publication is one in a series of three that sets out what we have learned about the social investment market through the Big Society Finance Fund – its current nature and its potential for growth. This report presents compelling evidence which shows that many of the more affluent wealthy individuals (over £100k of investment assets) can be motivated to try social investments.

© Fairbanking Foundation with Ipsos MORI and NESTA, April 2011

Twenty Catalytic Investments to Grow the Social Investment Market

This publication is one in a series of three and provides recommendations for catalysing the development of the social investment market.

© NESTA, April 2011

Community Organisations: A Guide to Effectiveness

There are various parameters involved in running an effective community organisation and this publication looks at some of the key areas in more detail.


© All rights reserved March 2011, New Philanthropy Capital

Cutting it: The 'Big Society' and the new austerity

The ‘Big Society' is a defining policy of the Coalition Government and David Cameron's big idea. It is also a government led programme for structural change. In this report, nef analyses the opportunities and threats of the 'Big Society' vision, and how it will effect businesses, the third sector and democracy.

© November 2010, nef (the new economics foundation)

The Civil Effect: Bringing efficiency, innovation and community capability to our
framework of public services commissioning

'The Civil Effect', warns that the development of David Cameron's Big Society will fail unless urgent action is taken to better support civil society in our public services. The author unveils a raft of new measures aimed at boosting civil society, which it defines as co-operatives, social enterprises, charities and community entrepreneurs and which he believes will create a level playing field between the public sector and civil society.

© ResPublica 2010

10 Big Questions about the Big Society

Published by the new economics foundation, this leaflet provides questions and proposals to help fill- in some of the gaps about how the Big Society vision is translated into policy and practice.


© June 2010, nef (the new economics foundation)

Scaling up for the Big Society

In this paper, NPC argues that charities and social enterprises have an important role to play in building a  Big Society but there are barriers to achieving this. This publication seeks to address this by suggesting ways to assess evidence of impact and social benefit and providing guidance on what to scale up and how to do it.

© All rights reserved May 2010, New Philanthropy Capital

Building a Stronger Civil Society

This document brings together the Big Society related reforms and initiatives that have already been announced, but describes how the voluntary and community sector could use them. Section 1 describes the opportunities presented, and section 2 describes support for the voluntary and community sector to realise these

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Supporting a Stronger Society

This was a consultation document seeking views on the role government should play in building the infrastructure needed to support the voluntary and community sector (and the Big Society). The main consultation officially ended on the 6th January 2011.

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Building the Big Society

This document outlines the agreed policies that the government believes will enable the Building of the Big Society. It focuses on five main areas: give communities more powers, encourage people to take an active role in their communities, transfer power from central to local government, support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises and to publish government data.

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Modernising Commissioning: Green Paper

This Green Paper lays out the government's plans for the modernisation of commissioning. It was aimed at developing an approach that will make voluntary and community sector involvement in the delivery of public services easier. This consultation will inform a future White Paper (policy proposals) on Public Service Reform. This consultation ended on 5th January 2011.

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Giving Green Paper

The Giving Green Paper sets out the Government's initial ideas for building a stronger culture of giving time and money to start a national debate on our society's attitude to giving (it is not a conventional green paper)

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Open letter to the Voluntary Sector

This open letter, written by Francis Maude (Minister for the Cabinet Office) and Nick Hurd (Minister for Civil Society), asks voluntary, community and social enterprise groups for their ideas on how to help reduce the deficit. Your concerns, ideas for savings, and examples of best practice can be posted on the Cabinet Office Website or emailed directly to the Office for Civil Society.

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

Office for Civil Society- Organisation Structure

The Office for Civil Society (OCS) reports to Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, and Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office. OCS also provides support for Lord Wei, the Government Adviser for Big Society. The new OCS structure includes the following five teams, which is set out in more detail in the organogram.

© Crown copyright 2010, Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office

The Little Blue Book: NPC’s guide to analysing charities,for charities and funders

Applied to charities, analysis helps us to understand what works and what does not, and how we can improve more people’s lives. Since 2001, the New Philanthropy Capital has analysed numerous charities and this guide is the cumulation of the NPC's research.

© All rights reserved February 2010, New Philanthropy Capital

The Venture Society: Fuelling aspiration, independence and growth through grass-roots social entrepreneurship

This report urges the new coalition government to create support infrastructure for start up social entrepreneurs, slash bureaucracy and introduce a tax change in its seven point blueprint to help create David Cameron's Big Society.

© ResPublica 2010, The Venture Society

Local action changing lives: Community organisations tackling poverty and social exclusion

NPC's report explores how community organisations, usually run by local people for local people, are tackling issues like unemployment and poverty in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.

© All rights reserved June 2004, New Philanthropy Capital

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