Policy and research

NCVO works to positively influence the external environment on behalf of the voluntary sector, empowered by our network of member organisations. One of the main ways that we do this is through our policy and research work, by developing a strong evidence base on voluntary sector issues, and working with our members to influence government and other decision makers.

We have pulled together all of our evidence and policy work in most of the key themes below. You'll also find pointers to practical support and a reading list of all of our related publications and policy documents. If you would like to be more involved check to see if your organisation is already a member or join us today.

General Election 2015

As part of our work to influence public policy, we want the voluntary sector’s role in society to be prioritised by the political parties, both ahead of the 2015 general election and afterwards.

Read our manifesto to see our recommendations on how the next government could help the voluntary sector make a bigger difference.


Our manifesto was written after consultation with our network of 11,000 members. You can read all of our consultation papers covering the topics included in the manifesto.

You can also read all our blog posts covering the 2015 election, including a series of posts from guest bloggers covering the topics in NCVO’s manifesto, from preventative spending to social value.

What's in this section


Is voluntary sector campaigning changing? How can we ensure the sector's right to campaign is protected?

Charity law and regulation

Does the current legal and regulatory framework meet the needs of charities and trustees?


How are changes in funding, including cuts in state funding, changing the shape of the voluntary sector?

Giving and philanthropy

Who gives, why and how much? How can we encourage more giving to the voluntary sector?

Independence and values

Why are shared values so important to the voluntary sector? Is our independence coming under threat?


What are the implications of the 2011 Localism Act for voluntary organisations? What opportunities and challenges lie ahead?


How and why do people get involved and stay involved in their communities? How can voluntary organisations encourage and promote participation?

Public services

What is the role of the voluntary sector in delivering public services? What are the risks and rewards involved?

Voluntary sector workforce

What is the size and scope of the voluntary sector paid workforce? How do skills levels vary?



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