Sir Stuart Etherington will retire from NCVO later this year after 25 years as the charity representative body’s chief executive.
Etherington joined NCVO in 1994 from the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, now Action for Hearing Loss, where he was chief executive.
During his tenure, NCVO’s membership grew from 400 to over 14,000.
NCVO also merged with a number of other sector bodies which had suffered public funding cuts including Volunteering England in 2013 and Charities Evaluation Services in 2014.
During 2015, Etherington chaired a cross party review looking at the structure of fundraising regulation, which led to the creation of the Fundraising Regulator.
And in 2017, in a personal capacity, Etherington published a wide-ranging report in which he sets out 18 recommendations to improve civil society.
Away from NCVO, he has held a number of non-executive roles, including chair of the Patron's Fund, trustee of Business in the Community, and chair of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee.
He was knighted in 2010 for services to the voluntary sector.
Etherington said: “It has been a huge privilege to work alongside the incredible people and organisations that make up our sector.
“I would strongly encourage anyone to consider applying for this job. The pace of change in the sector has been phenomenal over the last 25 years, and this is a trend I am sure will continue, making this an immensely exciting and rewarding role.
“You will have the privilege of leading a high-performing organisation full of talented staff providing practical support to thousands of members every year, while also playing a crucial role in shaping a wider policy environment that enables charities and volunteering to thrive.”
Recruitment process launched
NCVO has launched the application process for Etherington’s successor and expects to make an appointment this summer.
Recruitment agency Green Park is handling the appointment, and the full job description and details of the application process have been posted on its website.
The deadline for applications is 15 March. Final panel interviews are expected to take place on 16 May.
The interview panel will consist of: Peter Kellner, chair of NCVO, Paul Breckell, treasurer of NCVO, Tiger de Souza, trustee of NCVO, Julia Cleverdon, chair of the NCVO human resources and remuneration committee, and Julia Unwin, chair of the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society.
Their recommendation will be subject to final approval by NCVO's trustee board.
Peter Kellner, chair of NCVO, said: “Stuart has made a truly invaluable contribution to NCVO and the sector over his time as chief executive. He has guided NCVO from strength to strength during even the most challenging times. It has been a pleasure to work alongside him for the last two years.
“One of Stuart's great skills has been in adapting NCVO to meet new challenges. As the sector itself continues to change, we are seeking someone who can continue to bring fresh ideas alongside sharp strategic thinking.
“The interview panel will also be looking for someone with an unimpeachable track record of standing up for integrity and transparency, and a clear commitment to valuing and nurturing difference and diversity.”