Press releases

Commenting on the National Audit Office report on the government's use of payment-by-results schemes, Karl Wilding, policy director at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which represents charities, said:

'Our own research found charities thought payment-by-results contracts were often being used because they were political 'flavour of the month' rather than because they were appropriate for the service being delivered.

Charity sector income and expenditure continued to flatline in 2012/13, new data published today by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations showed (1). The figures represent a continuation of the recent trend in the charity sector economy, which has plateaued at a level slightly below the peak it reached in 2007/8 after several years of rapid growth.

Volunteers across the UK are being thanked for their efforts as part of a range of events to mark Volunteers’ Week 2015 which runs from 1 to 7 June.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said:

‘In the run up to today’s election result, NCVO has consistently argued that charities and voluntary groups can make a bigger difference in dealing with the issues we face as a society, and in creating opportunities for all. There are substantial challenges ahead: public service reform, a fragile recovery, and calls for democratic renewal. Charities and voluntary groups are part of the solution to these problems, and we look forward to working with the new government to realise the sector’s potential.

The appointment of the chair of the Charity Commission should be subject to greater parliamentary scrutiny, a new paper from NCVO recommends.

The paper (PDF, 200KB) follows concerns that successive chairs of the Commission have been subject to accusations of political bias in their work, following the 2006 reforms which revamped the Commission's governance.

Ruth Driscoll, head of policy and public services at NCVO, said:

'A welcome theme of support for social action and community rights runs throughout this manifesto. Their focus on early intervention, as we have long called for, would better support vulnerable people and would lead to long-term cost savings.

Commenting on the Conservative Party manifesto, Ruth Driscoll, head of policy and public services at NCVO, said:

'It is positive that the manifesto reflects a continuing commitment to the principles of voluntarism and putting power in the hands of communities. Nevertheless, under the past government this desire has been hampered by public spending settlements which have been very challenging for many charities.

Commenting on the Labour party general election manifesto published today, Nick Davies, public services manager at NCVO, said:

'We're very pleased to see support for public service providers paying the Living Wage. In our manifesto we said organisations delivering public services ought to be able to pay their staff the Living Wage.

Commenting on David Cameron’s announcement, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

'This is an exciting proposal which would be good news for charities and for businesses.

'Many charities urgently need more volunteers to support their work, while volunteering is an excellent way for employees to develop skills and confidence that will benefit their employers.

'Anything that helps encourage our culture of volunteering is very welcome. We look forward to seeing the detail of the proposal.'

Volunteering and employers – quick facts

  • An estimated 15 million people in the UK volunteer at least once a month (1).
  • In the last survey to examine the topic, 'work commitments' were the main reason given by people for not volunteering. (2)
  • Employer-supported volunteering, schemes where employers arrange volunteering opportunities for staff, have grown substantially in popularity in recent years. Employers benefit from staff developing skills and experience, and staff whose job satisfaction and connection with their communities increases. Around 1 in 12 employees took part in such a scheme in 2013/14, compared to fewer than 1 in 20 in 2008/9. (3)

Read our analysis on volunteering and public policy: the big topics - the NHS, unemployment, localism, and austerity - where volunteers make a difference

NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteering. We connect, represent and support voluntary organisations.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation (MBF) have confirmed that the transfer of MBF’s core services to NCVO has taken place.

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