NCVO to withdraw Funding Central service as part of new strategy

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will stop running its Funding Central online fund-finding service and wind down its “trusted charity” quality standard as part of its new strategy. 

The umbrella body said today that it had drawn up its strategic priorities through a consultation involving more than 900 stakeholders and taking into consideration the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the NCVO and its members. 

It said this had caused it to make decisions on where it could have the greatest impact and the role it needed to play as an umbrella body. 

As part of the process, the NCVO said it had “considered what new services it develops, what it does in partnership with others, and what it will stop doing”. 

The NCVO said its future work would be guided by priorities in four main areas: supporting voluntary organisations, making the case for charities and volunteers, connecting through local and national networks, and evolving by embedding new ways of working.  

Alongside this, it said it would cease operating its Funding Central service, which showcases thousands of grants, contracts and loans available to voluntary sector organisations, on 31 March. 

It won a government contract to begin running Funding Central in 2009, but funding for the service was withdrawn in 2016. 

The NCVO said it was working with other providers to ensure alternative options were available. 

The umbrella body said it would also wind down its Trusted Charity quality standard, which would continue until March next year. 

Organisations that hold the Trusted Charity Mark would continue to do so until their award expired, the NCVO said. 

It said it planned to bring members together to identify and find solutions to common problems as part of its new strategy. 

It said it would be “committed to influencing the national conversation about the role of charities and volunteers” and would work to ensure that the stories of all of its 15,000 member charities were heard – “not just those with the loudest voices”. 

The NCVO said it would be driven by new values that “define behaviours at the organisation and push forward an ongoing cultural shift seeing the organisation work in an open, collaborative, inclusive and ambitious way”. 

The umbrella body said it was committed to becoming a “truly inclusive organisation, where challenge and accountability are embedded throughout all working structures, processes and, most importantly, relationships”. 

Priya Singh, chair of the NCVO, said the charity had a “clear vision for the future with focus and collaboration at its heart”. 

She said: “NCVO has seen a financial impact from Covid-19. With less income and a smaller staff team, we must ensure we are focused on areas where we can have the biggest impact and work collaboratively with members to achieve our shared goals. 

“For me as chair, being more member-centred is synonymous with being more inclusive. NCVO has work to do to ensure we build a culture which is ever-more inclusive, and our new strategy highlights our commitment to this."

The new strategy comes just after Karl Wilding, chief executive of the NCVO, announced he was stepping down after 18 months in the role because new leadership was needed to bring the cultural change the umbrella body wanted to achieve. 

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