Small and local community charities are second only to doctors on a list of the professions and organisations most trusted by UK consumers, according to research released today. The research conducted by The Open University Business School’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL), also shows that consumer trust in larger charities lags behind their smaller counterparts. Over four-in-ten (43%) of the public trust local community charities compared to just under three-in-ten (29%) who trust national charities.
The charity sector continues to be hit by a number of challenges including concerns about level of overheads, governance and management, and fundraising techniques. Today’s research does however highlight the positive role of smaller and local charities, as these organisations benefit from comparably higher levels of public trust, and the public’s likelihood to donate and volunteer versus national and international charities.
These are difficult times for the third sector with cuts meaning many third sector organisations are facing the significant challenge of ‘having to do more with less’. Developing strong leadership and collaborative skills will support charity executives and trustees to master the myriad of difficult challenges that charities are facing. The research highlights a clear list of attributes and characteristics a charity must have, in order to boost trust, volunteers and – perhaps most importantly – donations. These include:
Charities need to pick up the baton and meet these public expectations whilst exuding the real passion and belief in their cause by creating effective leaders that, through collaboration, can boost the public’s perception of the sector as a whole.
In this era of austerity and cuts, CVSL has identified the need for research and teaching together with focussed engagement with the voluntary sector so that we can provide a valuable learning resource which will help develop current and future leaders. There are many areas that our courses will embrace and these include demonstrating public and social values, training executives and trustees, financial sustainability, managing volunteers and the necessity for collaborative leadership skills.Professor Siv Vangen
Director of CVSL
There are 194,000 charities in the UK and they have just over 1 million trustees who volunteer their time to make important decisions about their charities. There is an undoubted need to encourage the supply of new and future generations of trustees who are willing to volunteer their time and have the requisite skills. These are difficult times for the third sector with cuts meaning many are facing the significant challenge of ‘having to do more with less’ and this factor is a primary example of the real need to have the leadership and collaborative skills from charity executives and trustees that are equipped to master the myriad of difficult challenges that charities are facing.
We’re passionate about helping the voluntary sector to enhance leadership skills. Building upon a strong programme of research and external engagement, we’re developing a suite of free online learning courses which will help create leadership development and resources as well as disseminating good practice and new ideas.Professor Siv Vangen
Director of CVSL
It is vital to help develop both the current and the next generation of voluntary sector leaders at all levels. The Open University Business School’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership has conducted significant academic and collaborative research analysing the leadership needs of the voluntary sector. Existing and aspiring leaders and trustees can take advantage of a suite of free practical online learning modules that have been launched to train and develop the necessary voluntary sector leadership skills.Professor Rebecca Taylor
Executive Dean of The Open University Business School
The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership has initially launched two free online interactive courses which can be started at any time with totally flexible timescales to suit the individual:
For further information on the courses, please visit www.open.edu/openlearnworks/free-voluntary-leadership-courses
For more information on CVSL, visit the website.
You can also watch video highlights from the Centre’s inaugural conference on YouTube.
Thursday, June 8, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:30
Online, Microsoft Teams
Thursday, June 22, 2023 - 15:00 to 16:30