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NCVO AGM 2023: New trustees and priorities for the future

Highlights and key talking points from our annual general meeting

Our annual general meeting (AGM) took place on Monday 16 October 2023. The AGM is an opportunity for our members to come together, hear about our work, and vote on important decisions.

Here’s our round-up of highlights from the event.

Changes to NCVO’s board of trustees

It was confirmed that Priya Singh has been reappointed as chair of NCVO’s board of trustees. Priya has been chair of NCVO since November 2020 and will now serve another, final three year term.

It was also announced that the following trustees have been elected to join our board.

Priya also thanked the trustees departing NCVO for their wisdom and expertise as members of the board. The trustees stepping down are:

  • Sheila Taylor MBE
  • Paul Buchanan
  • Ingrid Tennessee.

Panel discussion: The future of the voluntary sector

We hosted a panel discussion on how NCVO and our members can create a stronger voluntary sector for the future.

The panel examined four key areas:

  • the external environment for the sector
  • the power of volunteers
  • fundraising in a cost of living crisis
  • how charities make their voices heard.

The panel included:

  • Sarah Vibert, NCVO’s chief executive
  • Fadi Itani, chief executive of the Muslim Charities Forum
  • Sufina Ahmad, director at the John Ellerman Foundation
  • Katharine Sacks-Jones, chief executive at Become.

Watch a recording of the discussion below.

End of year reflections

Priya noted the ongoing challenges facing the voluntary sector in England. She highlighted how important it is for NCVO to provide a steady and secure place for members where they can access help and support.

Priya also acknowledged the importance of NCVO’s membership community in advocating for the sector. By working together our members help to highlight the challenges faced by charities, volunteers and the communities they serve.

Priya celebrated the role NCVO and our members played in securing an extension to the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for charities. She also praised the collective effort which helped secure a £100m windfall for the voluntary sector in the 2023 Spring Budget.

Speaking to members, Priya said:

While we celebrate these achievements and thank our members for uniting with us in these important calls, we know it hasn’t been easy. And for some, it has come too late. We’ve lost members this year – not because they don’t see our value, but because they either can’t afford membership fees, or they simply don’t exist anymore. For every charity that closes, that is another lifeline taken away from a community.

Looking to the future

Our chief executive, Sarah Vibert, outlined the challenges and priorities for NCVO and the voluntary sector.

Sarah acknowledged the vital role of NCVO and its members in speaking truth to power – particularly in the current political environment and as we head towards a general election year.

Sarah shared details of our recent engagement during party conference season. She highlighted how NCVO supported member organisations to join events and share their stories with decision-makers.

Sarah also informed members of NCVO’s priorities in the year ahead. This included:

  • further strengthening relationships with government departments and civil servants
  • partnering with ACEVO to develop an election manifesto for the sector
  • supporting members to take action on working towards net zero
  • delivering a long-term strategy which creates a better future for volunteering.

Speaking to members, Sarah commented:

With all these projects, NCVO takes a convening role. We know we don’t have all the answers. We are continually listening, learning, linking-up and creating routes for people to share vital information that will have a demonstrable impact on the sector and the organisations we all work in.

Sarah ended by sharing our commitment to continue supporting members and helping raise their voices as the sector faces the challenges ahead.

Priya closed the AGM, thanking members and NCVO’s trustees and staff.

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