Stronger voluntary organisations

The question of what makes a strong voluntary organisation was uppermost in our minds while we were working with our members to create a new strategy for NCVO.

Voluntary organisations are stronger when they can access the resources they need to deliver their mission. They’re stronger too when they have committed and skilled volunteers, paid staff and/or trustees. They’re stronger when they plan their impact. And, crucially, they’re stronger when they have effective governance, inspiring leadership and robust strategies that help them to adapt and change.

NCVO is here to help voluntary organisations to do what they do best. We know that many voluntary organisations are strong already, but how can we help voluntary organisations to be even stronger?

Here are four ideas from our strategy.

1. Supporting

Many organisations join us for the support that we provide. This will continue, though:

  • events
  • training
  • consulting
  • publications
  • online content.

We plan to run more online events to complement our popular face to face events, expanding our programme of online q&a sessions and piloting webinars.

Find out more about the wide range of support available

2. Influencing

Voluntary organisations need better support from funders, investors and commissioners. We will influence funders and others that control the resources that come into the sector, to create conditions that allow organisations to be sustainable.

3. Connecting

The best experts on developing and leading a strong organisation are people in voluntary organisations. We will:

  • connect people and organisations, by bringing you together and helping you to share your expertise and knowledge on our popular wikis
  • make the most of the buying power of our 10,750 members to negotiate with suppliers to save you  money
  • connect you with the resources you need, whether that is funding and finance, data, potential trustees or knowledge.

4. Leading

We all need to evolve so we can grasp new opportunities and survive change. We know that at times you look to us to provide leadership – spotting emerging issues, doing the research and proposing the best way forward. We will continue to do this. The areas that we are developing include lean management, mergers and collaboration, both within the sector and across sectors.

NCVO is fortunate – we are able to take the long view. We are five years away from celebrating 100 years of helping people come together to make a difference to the causes they believe in. I’m proud that our ambition is to make our members even stronger because now more than ever, society needs a strong voluntary sector and vibrant volunteering movement.


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Avatar photo Richard is the director of enterprise. His brief includes consultancy, training, membership, marketing events and business development, and the development of new products and services that benefit civil society. Richard has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years and focused on youth enterprise, unemployment measures, environmental issues, income generation, partnership development, and diversity. He is a trustee of the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust and an ambassador for The Conservation Volunteers. Richard is a non-executive director of Trustees Unlimited and CaSE Insurance, both NCVO collaborative ventures, and non-executive director of NCVO Trading Ltd. He is the founder of Business Launchpad, formerly the Wandsworth Youth Enterprise Centre.

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