The Road Ahead for Voluntary Organisations in 2023

10th February 2023

NCVO’s annual Road Ahead analysis of the changing operating environment for anyone working in the voluntary sector was released at the end of last month and points to four key trends that will impact on charities and community groups this year:

Unsurprisingly, the cost-of-living crisis is also expected to continue having an impact on the voluntary sector in 2023. The analysis from the Road Ahead predicts that the voluntary sector will face a number of challenges in terms of recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers. Funders supporting wellbeing will be crucial this year as many charity leaders are worried about burnout in their teams.

Strengthening equity, diversity and inclusion in the voluntary sector will continue to be high on the agenda. Research by NCVO, Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University found that nearly four out of five voluntary organisations had plans to address equity diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and over half had revised their EDI approach since March 2020. However, there is still much more to be done, from changing how organisations are run and widening reach to challenging the root causes of inequalities. Key trends for 2023 are likely to include heightened awareness of charities being drawn into the ‘culture wars’, and the public wanting charities to act for their cause. The Road Ahead analysis concludes that the sector must continue to focus on building inclusive spaces and using data to gain new insights into inequalities and disparities in the communities they serve. The government will have a new statutory duty to set clear levelling up goals, presenting opportunities to influence how services engage with communities.

Read the NCVOs report and associated articles here: The Road Ahead 2023: Supporting staff, trustees and volunteers | NCVO
For further 2023 cost-of-living information, read the Resolution Foundation’s Living Standards Outlook Report 2023