Ask not what you can do for NCVO

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 Her blog posts have been archived here.

For our live discussion please see comments below.

‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!’

L. Frank Baum

Depending on who you speak to, NCVO is either an organisation that cares only about the little charities or only concerns itself with the big ones. Now that I’m on the inside I know that’s not true: the huge range of organisations doing excellent work, both despite and because of their size and budgets, are all important. And there is something relevant for everyone. In my career so far I’ve found things that were relevant for me, perhaps they might help you too.

All aboard

I first joined  NCVO when I started working for LCRN, a medium-sized charity based in London, who were then members of the network. At the time NCVO was heavily involved in ChangeUp: delivering a programme of support for the voluntary sector across a variety of needs. I remember attending their events and being impressed with the quality of resources available. As an infrastructure organisation ourselves the temptation to rehash their advice for our own members was too strong to resist (sound familiar?). NCVO membership was hugely relevant to my day job at the time because I relied on their information to support my own network.

A major change of direction

Two years later I was on the fundraising frontline at Macmillan Cancer Support, a major-sized charity working across the UK. This meant my relationship with NCVO became essentially extraneous, despite Macmillan also being part of NCVO. Joining a charity with nearly 1,000 members of staff meant that I already had a charity network, along with my twitter account and the odd #nfptweetup. NCVO had become a campaigning organisation in my mind: it was a feature of my working past, along with talking to MPs and chasing press coverage for composting projects.

Meanwhile, in my spare time

That changed when I joined the board of Street Action, a small charity with no staff, and NCVO became relevant again. At times it felt like our Chair had the Guide to Good Governance tucked permanently under one arm.

After a few sweeps of the website I found quite a lot of their information and resources were relevant to my day job, especially when we realised Macmillan were eligible for a discount on room hire for a team meeting. Until that point, I could go for months without thinking about NCVO.

What’s your experience?

So ask not what you can do for NCVO, but what NCVO can do for you. In fact, what can we do for you? Let me know!

This entry was posted in Members, Practical support and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Ask not what you can do for NCVO