Karl Wilding appointed next chief executive of the NCVO

Wilding, who has worked at the umbrella body since 1998 and is currently director of public policy and volunteering, will start his new role on 17 September, when Sir Stuart Etherington steps down

Karl Wilding
Karl Wilding

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has appointed Karl Wilding, its director of public policy and volunteering, as its next chief executive.

Wilding, who has worked at the umbrella body since 1998, will succeed Sir Stuart Etherington, who is retiring after 25 years in the role.

Wilding has worked his way up the ranks at the NCVO, having joined as a research assistant after finishing a PhD on charitable hospitals in the Victorian era, before becoming head of research in 2001, head of policy and research in 2011 and director of public policy in 2013, and taking up his current role in 2016.

He is an adviser to Charity Bank, a trustee of the US voluntary organisation Creating the Future, a trustee of Communities 1st, a membership body for the voluntary sector in St Albans, and a regular volunteer at parkrun, the NCVO said.

The umbrella body added in a statement today that Wilding’s appointment came after an extensive recruitment process managed by the executive search firm Green Park.

Peter Kellner, chair of the NCVO, said Wilding’s awareness of the challenges facing the voluntary sector and his strategy for change to meet them were compelling.

"Karl is a strong communicator with a sharp strategic focus, and he has an instinctive understanding of both the complexities within the voluntary sector and the values that unify it," said Kellner.

"His experience as a voluntary sector leader, a trustee and a volunteer give him a holistic view of what charities and volunteering need for the future."

Wilding said he was "excited and humbled" to be appointed to lead a repurposed NCVO that would stand up for "charities and millions of people who every day make a difference to the causes that they believe in".

Etherington has spoken of the need for the NCVO to evolve under new leadership and the umbrella body wants to do more to engage new social members and help the sector think about what being a modern charity means.

Wilding said: "I’m very clear that we can’t stand still. The world has changed. People have more choices than ever when it comes to getting involved in a cause."

He said he wanted the NCVO and its members "to lead the changes we need to remain relevant, important and influential even as society changes".

He said the NCVO’s biggest assets were its members, so he would "focus on listening to and learning from the many incredible charities and volunteers that I meet every day".

He said: "Together, we’ll develop a much sharper focus on what matters to the British public. We’ll move faster for the digital age. And together we’ll reflect the rich diversity that characterises modern Britain."

Wilding, who will be paid £145,218 a year, will take up his new role on 17 September, the day after Etherington steps down.

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