Thursday, 1 December 2011


Well, the lunch with JP Morgan turned out to be most agreeable . They have recently published a report on impact investing. It is clear that the mainstream financial sector are beginning to notice the third sector and instead of patronising us , think we may be the sort of social business that they can invest in. It's early days, but the Social Investment Business now has a successful 7 year track record of making loans to sector enterprises. Our story and experience is there to be mined.

I followed that with an early evening drink with Rita Clifton, the branding guru , CEO of Interbrand and the new Chair of BTCV ( Tom Flood their CEO is one of my members ). Formidable yet charming , and a real passion for our sector and how we can do better. Had a really interesting discussion on the ACEVO brand ( watch this space! ).

We are both on exactly the same page on branding. Your brand as an organisation is integral to your success. It is a core role for any CEO. Protecting and enhancing brand is vital- just as anything that damages brand can undermine your task. Yes, this is about logos and design but also much more. How your name conveys what you do. How what you present shows your culture and value. In the past there was a rather silly view that we should not " waste" money on brand. Indeed for some, the worse the presentation the better; it showed that we were " voluntary " sector. Branding was commercial and therefore nasty. Crackers! As ACEVO CEO I've always had an eye on the brand. I want it to convey impact and edge, professionalism and passion. The ACEVO brand is very noticeable. Bold. Says what we do " third sector leaders". But is the term third sector getting less understandable out there? What should we use instead. A brainstorming session in the new year awaits....

She also told me a tale about 2 acronyms for how Government should work: is it DAD or EDD ?

Decide, Announce, Defend ( the usual government way )


Engage, Decide, Deliver

Think forestry. Think planning...I could go on.

And continuing the " competition is not a disease" theme of recent blogs , let me tell you about ACEVO member Di Thomas who is the CEO of the Horder Centre - a charity hospital specialising in orthopaedics.

In Dr Foster’s ‘Hospital Guide’, published this week, they were rated amongst the best performing hospitals for knee operations in the country. The Horder Centre, as a good performing provider, have fewer long stay patients, lower emergency re admissions and lower revision rates. A triumph for the third sector over state provision.

So let's commission them more!

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