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NCVO predicts better than expected year-end financial position and announces new leadership team

NCVO is predicting better than expected year-end financial results for 2020-21 and has today announced a new leadership team who will work with interim CEO Sarah Vibert and the board of trustees.

Better than expected financial results

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions on its revenue generating activities – as seen across the charity and volunteering sector as a whole – NCVO had previously stated that it was forecasting a £1.3 million budget deficit for the 2020-21 year. However, the organisation is predicting a significantly smaller deficit than originally forecast.

As a result of the better than expected position and projected future performance, NCVO will reimburse staff, including former staff, for lost earnings due to taking part in furlough through the government’s Job Retention Scheme or from voluntary pay reductions, ensuring they receive their full contractual pay for the year 2020-21.

Dr Priya Singh, chair of the board of trustees, commented:

“While still predicting a deficit for the year, we are pleased to be able to outline this better than expected pre-audit financial position and acknowledge the contribution and sacrifices of staff over the past year.

We know that the impact of the pandemic has been uneven and unpredictable on voluntary organisations and that there are projected declines in funding from all income sources in the next financial year. Despite our predicted improved outlook, charities are struggling and have lost a huge amount of income in the last year.

A key reason we are ending the year in a better financial position than anticipated is down to the hard work of our staff. Our dedicated team have moved many of our key services from face-to-face to remote delivery, opened-up our resources to support voluntary organisations with their own decision making at this difficult time, and helped us reach a landmark 16,000 members, with our highest annual membership growth on record.

We also completed a difficult organisational restructure. While this did not create in-year savings, it has helped to reduce our cost base for longer term financial sustainability and ensured we have the right structures in place to deliver our new strategy to support our members and the wider sector.

We would also like to thank the National Lottery Community Fund, from whom we received a grant allowing us to continue to deliver many of our services and provide additional support to the sector throughout this challenging year.

NCVO, like charities across the UK, is going to feel the impact of the pandemic over more than one financial year. Yet we have reduced our cost base, have healthy reserves and are optimistic about many revenue generating activities returning later this year. This is why we have been able to make this decision on staff reimbursement at this time.”

New leadership team

A new leadership team has also been announced today by NCVO following the recruitment of a number of individuals into new roles following an organisational restructure which took place in late 2020. The new team will work alongside interim CEO Sarah Vibert.

Sarah was appointed from her position as NCVO’s director of membership and engagement, in January 2021 when Karl Wilding announced his decision to step down as CEO. After completing a period of handover, Karl received the equivalent of a further three months’ pay on leaving NCVO. Karl’s last day at NCVO was 31 March 2021.

Within the new leadership team, Janu Miah has been appointed as the new head of people, governance, and culture. Janu joined NCVO from the Liberal Democrats at the start of April. Laura Crandley has been appointed as director of finance and services. Laura joined NCVO during January 2021 having most recently worked at Leonard Cheshire.

Gavin Finch has been appointed as interim director of membership and engagement from his current position as head of communications marketing and membership at NCVO. Jarina Choudhury, NCVO’s volunteering consultant, has been appointed to the leadership team as interim strategic lead for volunteering.

These appointments join the other new members of NCVO’s new leadership team, who took up their roles in January 2021. This includes Alex Farrow, head of networks and influencing, Tracy Kiernan, head of central services, Sophie Raeburn, head of digital, data and technology, and Andrew Walkey, head of support and services.

NCVO is also working on the process to appoint a new, permanent CEO. NCVO will work with an agency partner during the summer of 2021 to develop an open, robust, and inclusive CEO recruitment process and plan to advertise the role in the autumn.

Dr Priya Singh, continued:

“I am delighted to be able to share the details of our new leadership team who will support Sarah in her role as interim CEO. We look forward to the smaller, flatter shape of this team bringing the organisation closer together as we start to deliver our new strategy.

They all have key roles in consolidating and growing our financial position, delivering the actions from our EDI report, embedding a new culture and way of working at NCVO, and ensuring that we are focused on delivering our exciting new strategic vision for our members and organisations across the charity and voluntary sector.

The board of trustees and I are pleased to welcome the new leadership team and we offer them our full confidence. We have a fantastic new strategy and the new team in place to deliver it. I am looking forward to working with them over the next 12 months and seeing our vital plans come to fruition.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

About NCVO: The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is the largest membership organisation for the voluntary sector in England. With over 16,000 members, NCVO represents all types of organisations, from large ‘household name’ charities to small voluntary and community groups involved at the local level. We are also the lead body for volunteering in England. www.ncvo.org.uk

About Dr Priya Singh: Dr Priya Singh is chair of the board of trustees at NCVO. Dr Singh has a background in general practice, specialising in medical law, ethics and patient safety. During her executive career with a leading international mutual membership indemnity organisation, she was responsible for professional services to 290,000 doctors, dentists, and other health professionals around the world. She is executive director of the Society for Assistance of Medical Families, a mutual benevolent fund with charitable status and a member of NCVO; a non-executive director of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; a member of the London Policing Ethics Panel; and an associate with Working With Cancer, a social enterprise helping people with cancer to return to and remain in work.

Annual report and financial accounts 2020-21: Final audited financial accounts for the year 2020-21 will be presented to members at NCVO’s annual general meeting in November 2021.

Recruitment: The process to replace Gavin Finch as interim head of communications, marketing, and membership will follow NCVO’s internal recruitment process and policies.

New NCVO strategy: Find out more about NCVO’s new strategy.

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