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NCVO consults staff on restructure proposals

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is proposing to cut 22 out of 107 posts as part of a widespread organisational redesign and restructure.

Proposals for NCVO’s new structure follow a recently completed strategic review that has resulted in changed priorities and a different approach. Under the proposals, NCVO will deliver its new strategy with fewer staff as it responds to reductions in its own income. These reductions are a result of the covid-19 crisis, which has impacted NCVO’s venue hire, training and consultancy services. 

Following consultation with staff, it is expected that NCVO’s staff headcount will be reduced to 85 posts in total, a net loss of 22 posts. Based on current headcount, and allowing for vacant posts, this is likely to mean 13 redundancies. A total of 48 members of staff have been advised that they are at risk of redundancy because of the restructure. 

The proposals include: 

  • plans to reduce the size of NCVO’s leadership team, moving from three directors down to two. NCVO’s wider management team will reduce from 17 to 9 people
  • an extensive re-organisation that will see the number of teams reduce from 13 to 7
  • a slimmed down, more focused approach to practical support for charities and volunteering
  • a new ‘people, governance and culture’ team will be created to help deliver the culture change required to deliver NCVO’s new strategy, as well as driving forward NCVO’s wider equity, diversity and inclusion action plan
  • continued investment in NCVO’s digital and technology capacity to boost online services, networks and information for members.

During the summer NCVO was successful in applying for a £1m grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. This one-off grant enabled NCVO to continue to support, represent and share practice from organisations across the voluntary sector and broker opportunities for people wanting to volunteer during the first wave of covid-19, until the point at which it could restructure. The current proposals aim to make NCVO sustainable for the medium term.

Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO said: 

"Like many other organisations right now, we are delivering more, but facing the reality of having to do this with less money and fewer staff. Our plans have been informed by a year-long strategic engagement process and I'm confident that we are proposing a structure that will enable NCVO to support its members and wider voluntary sector long into the future.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my talented colleagues at NCVO. During the covid-19 crisis they have more than risen to the challenge of supporting charities and volunteering. Their hard work and dedication, replicated everywhere in our sector, is one of the best things about charities. I cannot express how sorry I am that we are going to lose some of our brilliant team.
With a new strategy in place, we now need to develop new ways of working. We need to structure ourselves to focus on where we can make the most impact for charities and volunteering. The work of the sector has never been more needed. We must marshal our resources better than ever to support the people and organisations out there who every day make such a difference to communities."

Proposals for the restructure are subject to a 30-day consultation with staff and representatives from NCVO’s recognised union Unite. Final decisions on the new structure of NCVO are expected in December. 

For further information, please contact Chloe Stables: 07507 558 597 or 


  1. NCVO implemented a recruitment freeze in March 2020.
  2. The new people, governance and culture team sits alongside the recent creation of an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee of the board.
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