Coronavirus: Advice for your organisation 


Volunteering and coronavirus: How you can help


Dear NCVO Colleagues

I am writing to you in response to the report that we all received today from the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group. This is an important point in the long and difficult change process that we began last year. I would like to thank the EDI Steering Group for their work and recognise the huge amount of emotional labour that has gone into this. I would also like to thank the wider EDI Working Group for their efforts.

I wish to set out our thinking on the way forward.

On behalf of the senior leadership team, I wish to apologise unreservedly to anyone who has experienced oppression in any form as a result of working for NCVO. The individual cases that informed this report are unacceptable. We are determined to prevent any such incidents from happening again and we will take the necessary action to do so.

When we commissioned the work on EDI, we knew that the organisation needed to change – its governance and operation, culture and values. We have started to make those changes. We have also made mistakes. These are my responsibility alone. I hope that I, and others, can now learn from these. We will need to move further and faster to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion is the foundation on which the NCVO of the future is built upon.

Given the seriousness of the report’s findings, the Senior Leadership Team are committed to working with the Board to implement the following immediate changes to the organisation:

  1. We strongly support the commissioning of an independent review to investigate any individual cases that have not been formally heard. We will provide all necessary support and assistance to this process.
  2. We have assigned a new, ongoing budget to support NCVO’s EDI work. And we will support staff to make time available for EDI activities and personal development.
  3. SLT will each begin working with an EDI coach to support and develop more inclusive and authentic leadership practices.
  4. The Board has established an EDI Sub-Committee. We will work with this Committee to ensure that together we build a shared vision of EDI at NCVO and then deliver on this. It will also provide accountability for our EDI work.
  5. We will finalise NCVOs new strategic plan, ensuring that our the new ‘inclusive’ value underpins a strategy which will see us be a more humble, learning and collaborative organisation.

Longer-term change is also needed. We do not want to rush to further solutions until staff have had time to fully process and reflect on the findings of the report. We also want to develop longer term detailed proposals openly, including all staff, so that we are collectively agreed on the sort of organisation that we want to be.

We are fully aware that this report has arrived at what was already the most challenging time in our modern history. Nevertheless, there is a clear determination to lead this organisation through this period of change and uncertainty.

NCVO is a great organisation. It is vital to many. It needs to be better – more relevant, more inclusive, more humble. We are, I believe, in agreement on this. We now need to pull together as one NCVO and recognise that we are all part of the solution in making NCVO a more equitable, inclusive and diverse place to work. As we develop detailed plans in the coming weeks, which will include public statements, I hope that you will help us to build a better, inclusive, and tolerant NCVO.

Best wishes


Karl Wilding

Chief Executive, NCVO


Dear NCVO Colleagues

It is fair to say that when we read the report we, the Board of Trustees, were shocked and horrified. It was hard to read. But, that first reaction was rapidly replaced by the absolute determination - which I should assure you is shared by the whole Board - that the picture we see here of NCVO will not be the NCVO of the future. What is described is simply unacceptable and we as a board simply will not accept it.

The trustees want you to know that it is our intention that the report’s recommendations should all be accepted. In addition to the recommendations, we are working with SLT to take a number of immediate actions:

  1. The Board will commission an independent review into SLT’s handling of the racist incident that is mentioned in the report.
  2. In parallel, the Board will commission a second, independent review to investigate any individual cases that have not been formally heard.
  3. We have approved a new, ongoing budget to support NCVO’s EDI work. And SLT will support staff to make time available for EDI activities and personal development.
  4. SLT will each begin working with an EDI coach to support and develop more inclusive and authentic leadership practices.
  5. The Board has established an EDI Sub-Committee. The Committee will ensure that together we build a shared vision of EDI at NCVO and then deliver on this.

Our thanks must go to the EDI Steering Group who have bravely undertaken this very difficult and upsetting piece of work. We are most grateful to them. They have made and will make a profound difference to NCVO and its future. Our thanks also go to the EDI Working Group, who have also made an important contribution, drawn from their own lived experiences.

As a board we are truly sorry for what colleagues have experienced as they have worked at NCVO. I hope that we can all work together to build the NCVO of the future, which will be a very different place.

Yours sincerely


Anne Heal

Chair of the Board of Trustees, NCVO

January 2020

EDI consultation commences, Pari Dhillon consultant

4 March 2020

EDI Journey blog post PART 1

4 March 2020

EDI Journey blog post PART 2


EDI consultation phase 1 complete

May 2020

EDI reports shared with SLT and board; workshops with Pari Dhillon

June 2020

EDI reports shared with management team

18 June 2020

BAME network reflections on ‘Home Truths’ report PART 1

18 June 2020

EDI working group reflections on ‘Home Truths’ report PART 2

14 July 2020

First EDI round-up blog post (now monthly)

7 July 2020

Staff receive EDI steering group report/combined letter

5 August 2020

Series of blog posts announcing conclusion of first phase of EDI consultation and recommendations (chair, CEO,)

5 August 2020

Series of blog posts reflecting on EDI work (BAME network, staff reflections, EDI group)


First meeting of EDI committee; meets fortnightly.

1 October 2020 EDI round-up blog post


NCVO restructure (pauses next stage of review and inquiry while completing restructure). Restructure embeds equality impact assessments, inclusive recruitment training and new practices adopted

26 November 2020

Statement by new chair, Dr Priya Singh

18 December 2020

EDI committee chair recruitment blog post

January 2021

EDI subcommittee chair recruitment

22 January 2021

EDI round-up blog post

4 February 2021

New strategy announcement

4 Feburary 2021

Internal comms re: EDI review outcome and next steps with inquiry.

NB. Charity Commission were provided with updates throughout the process.

We provide guidance and practical support on a range of topics from how to start a charity and getting funding to managing people, involving volunteers and governance. 

Find out more about our guidance and practical support offer in the following areas: 

At the start of 2021, we announced new long-term goals after a year-long strategic planning process that included a wide consultation across the sector. Our new strategy is based on insight gathered throughout last year from over 900 stakeholders from across the sector. But is also in response to the impact of covid-19 and changing needs of our members.

Read more about our journey and plans in our blogs Our priorities in a changing world by Karl Wilding and Supporting, connecting, mobilising, evolving: NCVO’s future membership offer by Sarah Vibert, our interim CEO.

Our new strategy focuses on four goals, underpinned by new values.

Our four strategic goals

1. SUPPORT: Sharing solutions for today and tomorrow

We exist to make life easier - so that charities and volunteers can focus on making a difference. We’ll bring members together to find solutions to common problems.

We will:

  • provide practical support on the things that organisations rely on, such as funding, staff and HR, recruiting and managing volunteers, leadership and management
  • harness our sector’s collective power; pushing for the best possible environment for charities and volunteering to thrive
  • create spaces to explore and discuss the complex challenges we face, and together make the changes we would like to see in the world around us

2. MOBILISE: Making the case for charities and volunteering 

Every day, charities make a difference to millions of lives. Demonstrating the strength and breadth of our sector, we’ll work tirelessly to ensure that both the public and decision makers recognise the essential role that charities and volunteers play.

We will:

  • influence the national conversation about the role of charities and volunteers
  • work with our members to build stronger relationships with decision makers
  • build on the strong evidence base we have already, ensuring that the stories of all our members are heard, and not just those with the loudest voices.

3. CONNECT: Convening local and national networks

We are stronger as a sector when we come together. Charities and volunteers need a support system that can grow and sustain voluntary action. We will focus on strong relationships at the core of what we do.

We will:

  • convene and create connections across our membership and networks to facilitate learning, collaboration and the development of ideas.   
  • work with organisations large and small, from every corner of the country and every part of the sector, recognising their different and complementary strengths
  • strengthen our partnerships with local and national infrastructure, working together on the things that matter to our members
  • put NCVO members at the heart of everything we do, taking a more collective approach and involving people wherever there is insight and ambition. With fewer resources available, NCVO will need to be more adaptable, more efficient and work with others to achieve our ambitious strategy.

4. EVOLVE: Embedding new ways of working

We will:

  • work collaboratively and openly to ensure that we are building on the best insight, evidence and good practice, and be more open about our successes and failures ​
  • continually adapt our approach to supporting charities and volunteers
  • increase our reach and meet changing needs through digital and through stronger partnerships
  • support our people to thrive in their roles and deliver our ambitious strategy, whether working from home, in the office, based with our members or in communities
  • become a more diverse, equal and inclusive organisation.

Our values

  • Open. We’ll be open about how we work and how we make decisions, and the things we learn along the way.
  • Collaborative. We’ll work with our members and with the people and organisations who want charities and volunteering to thrive.
  • Inclusive. We’ll ensure that our work is inclusive of all voices, bringing the experience and insights of our diverse membership to shape what we do and how we work.
  • Ambitious. We’ll be ambitious for charities and volunteers as our society recovers and rebuilds, in the knowledge that they continue to provide essential support to communities across the country.

Getting funding, and your approach to funding, is key to your organisation’s sustainability.

Help and guidance

Our help and guidance on funding sits on our beta site (our new website currently in development) and includes information on fundraising, grants and public services

Our guidance on grants will take you through the grant application process; from how to find grants to writing an application. We also have wider guidance on other fundraising methods.

If you are looking for grants, Funding Central provides low-cost access to thousands of the latest funding and finance opportunities from European, national, regional and local government as well as from charitable sources. 


We are currently running online training  on writing successful funding bids and writing a sustainable funding strategy. We also have an online course on charity finance for non financial managers. Take a look at our training listing to find out about upcoming courses or get in touch with us for more information.

Consultancy support

We offer specialist consultancy on public services to voluntary and community organisations striving to make a difference.

Trusted Suppliers

NCVO has a range of funding-related Trusted Suppliers who provide specialist products and services that can save your organisation time and money:

  • KindLink provides a completely free fundraising, CRM/database and project management tool for voluntary sector organisations
  • Lucas Fettes Financial Planning is an independently owned financial planning and employee benefits advisory practice, specialising in the charity and voluntary sector
  • TapSimple provides affordable fundraising devices, proven to boost donations in an increasingly cashless world and specifically designed for charities and other voluntary sector organisations

Latest funding blogs and other products


NCVO works to to positively influence the external environment on behalf of the voluntary sector. 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're looking for an introduction to public policy, read our 'what is policy?' guide (opens in a new window).

Site by Clickingmad