The charity and wider voluntary and community sector faces many challenges, most of which originate externally. However, I do fear that an unfortunate proportion (hopefully not too large a proportion)of these challenges are self-generated, and of these, it seems to me that far too many stem from within these organisations' executive and trustee leadership teams.
Food bank use is rising almost as quickly as executive pay. If something isn't done to correct the worsening structural inequality in the economy, the government may find itself called upon to bail out the food banks and provide basic nutrition to people living in one of the richest nations in the world.
These are going to be critical months for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and charities more generally - and this is especially the case for the national sector bodies. It will also be a critical period for all of us and there needs to be an open debate about the future of society which these bodies can lead.
While I do think that can be true in any country in the world, Brazil is a particularly macho society and girls still get subjected to insults or ridicule just for having an interest in playing football. The FIFA World Cup presents a great opportunity for children all over the country to meet people from different cultures and experience the magic of the game.
I am here in Brazil investigating the effects on children, and so far I have seen children suffer from health problems and miss out on school due to evictions and event-related works, while FIFA is set to make $4bn from the tournament. Many have been rehoused, but they are now hours away from their schools and from hospitals and other essential services...
The Bill would massively restrict the amount that campaigning charities and other UK community groups could spend in the year before an election whilst silencing us with unnecessary red tape. And if you're wondering why US-style funding systems don't yet exist in the UK, it's because they're already illegal.
This is the cry we have heard from the mouths of our old folk, usually when 'the youth of today' have enraged them. However, hold your scorn at the title, more than ever there are strong and compelling reasons to consider bringing back National Service. It might be a solution to a number of our social problems...
Relying solely on the ballot box will not fulfil the democratic ideal of a legitimate government by the people and for the people. Election results in both Egypt and the UK demonstrate the need for the political process to be anchored much more in a highly participatory civil society, with high levels of ongoing social engagement both before and after elections.
I read this week that the minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd was getting some heat for daring to mention that young people today perhaps lack the "grit" of yesteryear, necessary to find jobs and succeed in life. He was referring to the Neets, a subject close to my heart, those young people Not in Education Employment or Training. So is he right?
For more than 50 years, the island has been unsettled: with periods of violence in the past, there is a now a kind of 'frozen conflict'. The two main communities on the island live apart and a wall separates Greek Cypriots in the south from Turkish Cypriots in the north. Nicosia remains the only divided capital in the world since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Russian authorities, it appears, are fighting an internal 'Cold War'. It's a war of attrition and containment that has seen civil society attacked through the introduction of legislation aimed to restrict their activities... This onslaught on human rights shows no signs of abating and it's time the international community took this seriously.
Education will give women a greater ability to contribute to the economy, it will help them set up their own businesses, climb the corporate ladder and increase their representation in politics. Access to the education asset is essential in tackling gender inequality and multinational corporations have a proactive role to play.
Civil society works as the eyes and ears of a nation: it must be politically conscious, but neutral or at least non-partisan. A forceful civil society defends the weak from the strong and poor from the rich; strengthening it is a continuous and creative endeavour and its successful continuity should never be taken for granted.