Sir Stuart Etherington
Chief executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) from 1 February 1994
Under his reign, NCVO has undergone a substantial rise in public profile and has seen its membership rise eight-fold to 7,000 organisations - though at least 2,000 of these are tiny charities that can join for free.
Sir Stuart has a BSc in Politics, two MAs - one in social service planning and the other in international relations and diplomacy - and an MBA from London Business School.
His background is in social work and he came to the charity sector because of a project run by Mind, then the National Association for Mental Health. In his three years as director of good practice in mental health, Sir Stuart turned it from a small project into a successful charity in its own right.
In 1987 he joined the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (now RNID) as director of public affairs and four years later, aged 35, he became its chief executive. Three years later in 1994 he was headhunted to lead the NCVO.
Sir Stuart has also sat on various governmental bodies such as the Economic and Social Research Council which funds research and training, and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit which aims to help government deliver on key policies on subjects such as education, health, crime and transport. He is Pro-Chancellor of Greenwich University and a Council Member of the Institute of Employment Studies. He has been a trustee of CAF, Business in the Community, GuideStar UK, the Chair of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee, and a member of the Community and Social Affairs Committee of Barclays Bank.
In 2005, Sir Stuart won the outstanding achievement award at the Charity Awards.
In 2008 Civil Society ran a tongue-in-cheek online poll that asked whether the leader of the voluntary sector was Sir Stuart or his counterpart at Acevo, Stephen Bubb. Sir Stuart won hands down with 80 per cent of the vote.
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An impressive array of sector leaders turned out in all their finery on Saturday to attend the wedding of Sir Stuart Etherington and Rosamund McCarthy.
The prospect of a single charity registration process for both HMRC and the Charity Commission is not far off, Charities Act reviewer Lord Hodgson hinted to a conference audience yesterday.
NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington will use a speech today to criticise the leadership of the Charity Commission and warn that it has lost the respect of the sector over the Cup Trust scandal.
The clever people who devise tax avoidance and other scams by using charities are quite smart enough to be sure they get through Revenue and other data base scrutiny. The only way to stop or reduce this type of abuse is to come down much more heavily on those who deliberately misuse charities, whether as principals, advisers or beneficiaries.
NCVO’s Karl Wilding has said that the voluntary sector is suffering from ‘a considerable degree of uncertainty’ over its identity.
NCVO has appointed Karl Wilding as director of public policy to succeed Ben Kernighan, who is leaving the organisation in June to become chief executive of the National Union of Students.
NCVO and Serco have launched a code of practice aiming to improve the relationships between prime and subcontractors delivering public services.
Central government grants to voluntary organisations more than tripled from £93m when Margaret Thatcher first came to power in 1979, to £292m in 1988, eight years into her 11-year reign as Prime Minister.