Charities face a world where their context and challenges are always changing. At NPC we help them rise to those challenges but to do so, we have to understand their perception of that the issues are, and how this changes over time.
NPC’s State of the Sector programme is the most rigorous analysis of sector leader opinion, and how it changes over time.
In the final month of 2019 and early 2020 NPC undertook a survey of 300 charities, intended to follow up its 2017 ‘State of the Sector’ work which explored the charity sectors perceptions of itself and the issues it faced.
Our research captures our sector in the final few months of calm before the storm, offering insight into its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and risks. It paints a picture of a broad and complex sector, wrestling with its relationship with government, funding challenges, technological change and its own diversity and representativeness.
We hope that by understanding the trajectory the sector has been on since 2017, funders, philanthropists and policymakers will be more able to understand what happens in the crisis and help charities adapt to the new challenges they face, so they can keep serving the people who need them more than ever.
About our 2017 research outputs
Our initial exploration, Boldness in times of change: Rethinking the charity sector for the future, outlines key challenges and opportunities for sector leaders. It makes the case for a bold and imaginative response to current challenges, and highlights ‘bright spots’ of practice throughout.
Next, we did some quantitative and qualitative research involving around 400 sector leaders over all. We published the findings from this research in Charities taking charge: Transforming to face a changing world. You can also view a short summary video of the research.
We are in the process of rerunning the survey—look out for this next year. If you are interested in supporting the work get in contact with us
Flipping the narrative: Essays on transformation from the sector’s boldest voices is the third product of this research. It showcases approaches and ideas from leaders across the sector who are taking bold, innovative action to transform the way they deliver impact. It is a springboard, a rally cry to the sector, and a source of ideas and motivation to transform and move forward.
Tell us what you think on Twitter using the hashtag #StateoftheSector.
Key outputs from the State of the Sector programme
Our research captures our sector in the final few months of calm before the storm, offering insight into its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and risks, so that philanthropists, funders and policy makers can best support charities to help those who rely on them now more than ever.
Early findings from State of the Sector 2020 providing a picture of the challenges charities were facing just before the Covid-19 crisis.
Here we publish 16 essays from innovative leaders in the social sector. They're thinking about, and putting into action, new ways of achieving social change for the causes and beneficiaries their organisations exist to serve. This is third output from NPC's #StateoftheSector programme.
NPC's research on the State of the Sector involving 400 charity leaders. The findings hold up a mirror to the sector and highlight examples of those charities leading the way.
Rethinking the charity sector for the future > the first output of our State of the Sector programme.
Charities are not insulated from the uncertainty of Brexit. It has created upheaval in our markets and our politics, and these will ripple in the direction of the voluntary sector.
In the private sector, the move towards greater board diversity has been building for years now. A compelling case has been made for how it can boost performance. Julia Oliver argues that we need to step up and follow suit.
At NPC, we've been talking a lot about the need for charities to build and strengthen their relationships. Drawing on the content of our recent State of the Sector report, Patrick Murray focuses on one relationship in particular: that between charities and local government. He explains why both parties need to rethink how they work together for the benefit of the communities they serve.
Everyone seems to be thinking about the future at the moment, not least because we suddenly know so little about what it could hold. NPC's CEO Dan Corry explains what we're doing to help ensure a bright future for the voluntary sector.
Throughout the summer we launched a series of pieces from our State of the Sector programme on how charity sector leaders can adapt and thrive in this changing context. Over the autumn months we’ll be putting on a series of events to expand this work. Find out how you can get involved.