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NCVO and IoF plan job cuts due to pandemic losses

14 Oct 2020 News

Two charity representative bodies, NCVO and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising (IoF), have begun redundancy consultations.

NCVO plans to cut 22 roles and the IoF has put 13 roles at risk of redundancy. 

Both organisations said that they need to take this action due to the impact of coronavirus. In normal times they earn income through conferences and delivering training.

NCVO expects 13 redundancies 

NCVO said in a statement that a consultation has begun with staff regarding a proposed restructure, which is likely to result in 13 redundancies once vacant posts are taken into account. That consultation is set to conclude at the end of December.

It said it has been forced to act because of financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted its ability to raise revenue from venue hire, training and consultancy services.

NCVO anticipates that it will see a deficit of £1.3m in each of the next three financial years.

The job cuts would represent a loss of around 20% of all posts at the charity, with total staff numbers reduced from 107 to 85.

NCVO has informed 48 members of staff that they are at risk of redundancy because of the restructure. 

Under the proposals, NCVO will reduce its number of directors from three to two, and will cut its management team almost in half, from 17 people to nine. The number of departments inside NCVO will be reduced from 13 to seven.

NCVO announced in March that it was freezing any new recruitment in response to the pandemic.

As part of its recently-completed strategic review, the organisation says it is committed to taking “a slimmed down, more focused approach to practical support for charities and volunteering”, with a focus on online services for members and the creation of a new team to help deliver the culture change required for the new strategy.

Wilding: NCVO will focus on ‘where we can make the most impact’

Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, said: “Like many other organisations right now, we are delivering more but facing the reality of having to do this with less money and fewer staff. 

“Our plans have been informed by a year-long strategic engagement process, and I’m confident that we are proposing a structure that will enable NCVO to support its members and wider voluntary sector long into the future. 

“I want to take this opportunity to thank my talented colleagues at NCVO. During the Covid-19 crisis they have more than risen to the challenge of supporting charities and volunteering. Their hard work and dedication, replicated everywhere in our sector, is one of the best things about charities. 

“I cannot express how sorry I am that we are going to lose some of our brilliant team.  

“With a new strategy in place, we now need to develop new ways of working. We need to structure ourselves to focus on where we can make the most impact for charities and volunteering. The work of the sector has never been more needed.

“We must marshal our resources better than ever to support the people and organisations out there who every day make such a difference to communities.”

Help from the National Lottery Community Fund

NCVO announced a restructure of its senior management team at the end of last year, which included a cut in pay for the chief executive and an interim structure to support the chief executive until the strategic review was completed.

The body also said that it had received a one-off £1m grant from the National Lottery Community Fund during the summer, to support, represent and share practice from organisations across the voluntary sector and broker opportunities for people wanting to volunteer. 

The restructure plans are intended to ensure NCVO is “sustainable for the medium term”, according to its statement. 

IoF: 'We have no choice'

The IoF has put 13 roles at risk of redundancy. It currently employs 53 people. The consultation will run until the end of October, and the IoF plans to begin embedding the new structure at the beginning of November.

In a statement, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said: “It is with great sadness that we have started a formal consultation with our fantastic staff team in relation to putting 13 roles at risk of redundancy. This is a decision that we hoped we would not have to make – but like so many of our members across the charity sector, we have no choice but to take this action now due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our organisation.   
“Both personally, and on behalf of all the senior team and trustees of the Chartered Institute, I would like to thank publicly all of the staff team for their huge efforts and commitment, not just over the last few months serving the fundraising community in these extraordinary times.

“Every single role that is at risk of redundancy, and every single person in those roles, has played a significant part in supporting our members in this time of unprecedented difficulty. Every single person that we will have to say goodbye to in due course will be missed.”

He added that supporting fundraising skills was more important than ever.
“These are not changes we wanted to put forward, but ones that we are forced to, and need to, in order to best be able to serve our members and the wider fundraising and charity sector in the months and years ahead. At a time where the services, campaigns, and research delivered by charities are needed more than ever – and the fundraising and fundraising skills that will fund that work are more important than at any other time – it is incredibly sad to have to reduce our capacity to deliver that essential support.  
“I am extremely proud of the work of our team over the last few months, moving all of our support, conferences, events, training and qualifications online and in working in new and creative ways. I have been guided and supported by their expertise and commitment over the past few years, enabling us to gain chartered status for the profession only in March this year, and ensuring we continually and passionately champion our vision of excellent fundraising for a better world.”  

Lewis emphasised that it the decision was taken to ensure the sustainability of the organisation. 
“While these proposed changes are hard, both professionally and personally, for all of us at the Chartered Institute, we believe that they are essential in order for us to be able to continue our work, and best support the fundraising community, and charitable causes more widely, all around the UK. 

“Together with our wonderful and committed volunteers, and with the insight and passion of all our members, we have to ensure that the Chartered Institute is best able to continue to meet the needs of the fundraising community for years to come. 

“However it is with much sadness and regret that that not all of our current staff team will be able to stay with us for that journey.”

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