Organisational membership: What’s in it for me?

Hannah Kowszun was NCVO’s Marketing & Membership Manager until July 2014. Her blog posts have been archived here.

‘The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.’

Vince Lombardi

Reading his Wikipedia page, it seems Vince Lombardi was the Dave Brailsford of American Football in the 1960s. His team, the Green Bay Packers, were consistently top of the league and won the first two Super Bowls ever held.

In my opinion American Football is like playing chess, except with 22 fully grown men in shoulder pads fighting over 120 yards of grass and green lines. The coach is far more responsible for a team’s success here than in some other sports, but Lombardi in this quote credits his team for something he could very easily take sole credit for himself.

For four years I was on the fundraising frontline, with an annual target measured in millions, at one of NCVO’s bigger member organisations. This meant that my relationship with NCVO at that time was somewhat dormant. I wasn’t aware that my charity was a member of the network let alone finding this relevant to my day job.

That is, until I joined the board of a small charity and rediscovered the benefits of NCVO’s expertise on their website. Page after page of advice on good governance, on my new responsibilities as a trustee, on funding opportunities, on how to write a good bid, were suddenly invaluable. And some of this stuff did seem relevant to my day job, for instance advice on best practice in volunteer management, which was transferable to keeping our supporters happy.

Now that I’m working behind the scenes at NCVO, I’m on a mission: to understand and tap into the needs of each individual working for the organisations that make our sector great (that’s you!). Because it is our combined effort that translates to the people we help and the change we work to see in the world.

So what do you find useful about NCVO? What aren’t we doing currently that might make membership more relevant to you? Comment below or let me know at

Next time…I will mostly be talking about how NCVO looked from the outside, from the different organisations and their size, as both a member and non-member.


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