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Sarah Vibert

Sarah Vibert

Sarah Vibert

Chief Executive Officer

Sarah controls the direction of NCVO

Sarah Vibert
Chief Executive Officer

Why your voice is important in 2024, and how NCVO can help

Sarah Vibert

Sarah Vibert

Sarah Vibert

Chief Executive Officer

Sarah controls the direction of NCVO

Sarah Vibert
Chief Executive Officer

Last year highlighted the power of the charity sector’s collective voice. Here, our CEO Sarah Vibert shares how we can harness that power in 2024

While the busy holiday season may be over, the start of the new year will leave many with mixed feelings. I feel this wholeheartedly. It’s been an exhausting and relentless time.

NCVO exists for members and the voluntary sector. And we’re here standing shoulder to shoulder with you – whether you’re starting the new year with positivity and hope, or with trepidation.

In what will undoubtedly be a momentous year – with political, economic, and social upheaval – it’s more important than ever that the voices of charities and their experience on the frontline is heard.

Our priorities for 2024 will focus on how we can create the best possible environment for charities to do this, by working collaboratively and in partnership with voices across the sector.

1. Using your voice to campaign for change

One of our key priorities over the next year will be supporting organisations to campaign. As we approach a general election, it’s more important than ever that a new government understands the challenges in communities and how to better partner with the voluntary sector.

But with the continued culture war debates, it’s no surprise that many charities are concerned about the risks of speaking out on issues that matter to them and the communities they support.

We believe your voices must be heard, and so will continue our work with ACEVO to deliver a manifesto on behalf of the charity sector. And we will continue to build relationships with political parties.

We will give you the guidance and confidence to campaign and you can share your data and stories with us so we can lobby government.

2. Raising the voices of small charities

Small charities are the beating heart of our diverse sector. In 2024 we’ll continue to work tirelessly with our Small Charities Advisory Panel and others to raise the profile of small charities, and showcase their vital importance to communities across the country.

We also need to ensure they – like all voluntary organisations – have the right environment which allows them to thrive. To support this, we’re working with our partners on a project which will examine how sector infrastructure bodies can offer the best possible support to small charities – and how we make this sustainable in the long term.

We’ll be consulting small charities and working with the Association of Chairs, Charity Digital, Charity Finance Group, Chartered Institute of Fundraising, NAVCA and VCS Emergencies Partnership on this project.

With the pressures many small charity leaders are facing right now, it’s important that they have easy access to support and resources that can help them deliver for communities. We’re delighted to be working on a project – funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery – which will develop, co-create and deliver a new e-learning programme for small charities.

This will be an affordable, high-quality new resource that focuses on the practical topics which matter most to those who run charities, community organisations and social enterprises.

3. Bringing together voices to build a more sustainable workforce

One key challenge for the sector is attracting, nurturing, and growing talented people.

Many people used to want to work for a charity to ‘give something back’. But goodwill can be squeezed under the pressure of a competitive labour market, particularly when many commercial companies promote their ethical policies alongside desirable reward packages when recruiting.

So how can we tackle this? 2024 will see us collaborate with ACEVO on a strategy for the almost one million people in the paid voluntary sector workforce. Complementing the Vision for Volunteering, this workforce strategy will use data and insight to clearly set out the sector’s people needs over the next decade.

We’ll be asking for your insight on the following areas.

  • How can the sector respond to the challenges around pay and reward?
  • What role will technology and artificial intelligence play?
  • Where should our work on equity and diversity take us?

4. Amplifying volunteer voices

Volunteers are crucial to the work of charities. We want to ensure you have the support and guidance you need to effectively manage your volunteers and celebrate their enormous contributions.

We know from our research that charities are experiencing serious issues recruiting and retaining volunteers – with volunteer numbers remaining more than eight million below their pre-pandemic levels.

Following our Time Well Spent research spotlighting the volunteer experience, in 2024 we want to ensure organisations have the tools and understanding to adapt and meet the needs of volunteers.

This is why this year will be key to raising the voice of our volunteers and encouraging a new generation to get involved. With the 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week and the Big Help Out taking place during the Month of Community, 2024 will be the year of community voices.

5. Uniting our voices for a greener future

We all have a role to play in creating a more sustainable future. Last year, we rallied charities to use their collective power and reconsider their investments in fossil fuels with the launch of our ‘Fuelling Positive Change’ campaign.

It’s essential that we keep the conversation going on how we as a sector can create a better world for our communities.

Next year will be critical in helping charities of all sizes find meaningful ways to be part of the conversation and reduce their impact on the environment. Together, we can contribute to a collective effort for a greener, more sustainable planet.

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