COVID-19 and VCSE organisations response

Lead Research Organisation: Nottingham Trent University
Department Name: Business School

Abstract

According to a recent government report (DCMS 06/05/2020) the Voluntary Community and Social
Enterprise (VCSE) sector is "fighting for survival", with increased demand for its services, whilst
simultaneously facing funding cuts estimated at £4.3bn (during March-May 2020), resulting in
many VCSEs organisations estimated to be insolvent 'within weeks'. As the report states:

"Social distancing is making delivering services harder and more costly. Reserves are running out.
Smaller charities, in particular, are at risk of imminent closure".

The core ideas for this project emerged through dialogue with DCMS, who are leading the
government's response on how COVID-19 is impacting the sector, and co-designed with NCVO, the
sector's leading infrastructure organisation. The project has three purposes. First, to provide realtime
data and learning on how COVID-19 is impacting the whole sector and, significantly, varies
across different organisations by size, structure and services offered. Second, to provide lessonslearned
reports about how organisations on the impacts and responses to COVID-19, particularly
focusing on the new working-practices and innovations which can be scaled across the UK. Third,
to provide insights to aid long-term the VCSE sector's resilience.

The project team brings a unique alignment of researchers specialising in the VCSE sector, HR and
innovation, NCVO, who provide sector knowledge, guidance and access, through their research
and policy team and 15,000 members. The outputs are a VCSE vulnerability barometer, providing
real-time data of the impact COVID-19 on the sector, lessons-learned reports, enabling innovations
to be scaled, a final project report and toolkit for resilience.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The research has explored the impact of Covid-19 on the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector, through a monthly barometer, a panel survey and 300 interviews. The results of the barometer demonstrate the way that organisations were impacted, particularly highlighting the way in which demand for services remained high throughout the course of the pandemic whereas levels of funding fluxated. This shaped organisations expectations of survival. The research highlights the variability of experiences of VCSE organisations, particularly how for some organisations, contrary to the dominant story, they have come out stronger through the pandemic, both in financial terms and their confidence, connections and capacity to respond to future challenges.
Exploitation Route Provide a deeper understanding of the way that organisations are impacted, lessons learn about various forms of practice and future trends for the sector
Sectors Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://cpwop.org.uk/what-we-do/projects-and-publications/covid-19-vcse-organisation-responses/
 
Description The results of our work have been used by a variety of organisations to inform their policy and practice. It has been used by DCMS to understand both the impact of Covid-19 on the VCSE sector and inform thinking about the future of volunteering. A number of local VCSE infrastructure organisations have used our work to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on the sector as a whole and on their region, and have used this to inform funding bids, including to the National Lottery.
First Year Of Impact 2021
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Evaluation of the impact of Covid-19 on Communities 1st
Amount £14,870 (GBP)
Organisation Communities First 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2021 
End 04/2022
 
Description Department of Digital, Media and Sport: Baroness Baron, Civil Society Stakeholder COVID-19 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation of the the project data to the Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Baron, at the Civil Society Stakeholder COVID-19 - including other key stakeholders in the sector. The presentation included the latest data from the project and sparked many questions and discussions about the data. The research team have been invited back to present more as the level of interest was high
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation of research data to national Third Sector infrastructure organisations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Presentation of key findings of the research by NCVO to the other key infrastructure organisations, which support the development of understanding of the research and the way that the VCSE sector has been impacted by Covid-19 - led to Q&A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation of research to practitioner group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of research to network of practitioners who are interested in voluntary sector management. Presented key research findings and implications for practice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation to All Party Parliamentary Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation of the data from the project to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering. Presentation was made to MPs, Lords, and key stakeholders in the sector. It led to a discussion regarding the data and a number of Third Sector and charitable organisations got in touch afterwards wanting to know more
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.ncvo.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/all-party-parliamentary-group
 
Description Project Monthly Reports 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The project produces a monthly report which is designed to capture the headline findings from the project in a way that is accessible and relevant to the audience. These designed reports are created to be engaging and accessible to Third Sector/Social Enterprise and voluntary organisations. The reports have been read by many practitioners and policy makers, as a way of promoting the work
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL http://cpwop.org.uk/what-we-do/projects-and-publications/covid-19-vcse-organisation-responses/
 
Description Talk to AGM for Communities 1st 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Presentation of research findings to AGM of a local infrastructure organisation, Communities 1st
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Talk to AGM for Medway Voluntary Action 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Presentation of research findings to Medway Voluntary Action AGM
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021