Research

We want our strategy process to think big and differently about NCVO’s role, purpose and ways of working. With that in mind, we are open to the possibility of changing what we do and how we do it.

In addition to our consultation and engagement work, we will conduct a series of diagnostics. These are short pieces of research on specific topics that should help us make better decisions about our future. They should make us more aware of the topic, inform our discussion, challenge our thinking and spark new ideas.

What we want to find out more about

Through consulting with staff, we will initially focus on four key areas.

  1. Changing nature of social action and civil society – we see people taking action in informal, networked and peer-led ways. We want to explore whether and how individuals are engaging in social action in new and alternative ways on the causes they care about and how our practical support may need to change.
  2. Future of the voluntary sector workforce – the patterns, delivery and expectations of work are changing. We are interested in exploring what might be needed to ensure the voluntary sector has the future workforce it needs and that individuals with those skills are motivated to work in it.
  3. Membership organisations – we want to explore how to form deeper relationships with our members and how that is possible across a large membership. We want to explore what being more ‘member-led’ would mean and how we can provide structured mechanisms for engagement and participation of members in our work.
  4. Branding and perception – we want to explore the current perceptions of NCVO by our main stakeholders. At this stage, our diagnostic work will help us figure out our current position and what work may be required in the future.

We intend to publish as much of our research and diagnostic work as possible in order to share what we have learned. Many of our challenges will be shared by other voluntary organisations and we hope that our research will be useful for others.

Understanding our own work better

Alongside this, our staff team will conduct additional research on:

  • our current international work and opportunities for engaging post-Brexit
  • mapping our current products, services and work areas
  • mapping the wider voluntary sector infrastructure to understand where we fit
  • using our existing staff survey to further explore organisational culture.

To progress our work on equity, diversity and inclusion, NCVO has appointed an external consultant to support us. We will work alongside them to see whether further research could be complementary.