A new Almanac

Today sees the launch of our 12th UK Civil Society Almanac, the reference guide to facts and stats on the voluntary sector in the UK.

I’ve now been lucky enough to be involved in six of them (so far). This year’s almanac is a bit different. This edition doesn’t have a large book like the previous ones, instead we’re focusing on our website where all the content is available, alongside a short highlights publication (which folds out into a poster with some key stats on it).

Your best place to start finding out what the Almanac data means for you is Karl Wilding’s overview. From there, you might want to look at our new bubble charts, which use the Open Knowledge Foundation’s tool. You might also be interested in a couple of particular sets of pages – our pages on income from government, a look at volunteering using data from the Community Life Survey and a page from Pete Bass looking at the impact of inflation.

As with previous editions, NCVO members are at the heart of the Almanac. NCVO members will receive a free copy of the highlights publication (with a PDF download for community members), exclusive content on the website and for the first time the ability to interact with the data. For a selection of charts on the site members can choose to view them for a particular region or sub-sector, to make the results relevant for them. To register as a member for the site you just need your NCVO membership number, which can be found on any emails you receive from us.

We’ve also been improving the way we produce the Almanac. You can see some more details in our methodology, including a detailed paper on how we collect the data in partnership with TSRC. This is the second year in which we’ve been producing our own data, and we’ve learnt a lot from the first year. We’re also passionate about open data – both using it to produce data and opening up our results. We’ve added a “slash open” page to showcase the open data we’re using and producing.

As always we want to hear your feedback – the best way to get in touch is to email almanac@ncvo-vol.org.uk. We’re also thinking about the future direction of the Almanac, so it would be great to hear about how you use the Almanac and what would help you use it better.

Thanks as always to all the staff both inside and outside NCVO who contribute to the Almanac – it really is a team production.

David Kane’s blog

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David Kane was formerly NCVO’s Senior Research Officer. He discusses open data and emerging trends in the voluntary and community sector and wider civil society.

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