National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and partners: Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19 – October 2020

The Centre of People, Work  and Organisational Practice at Nottingham Trent University, The Voluntary Action Research Group at  Sheffield Hallam University and NCVO are the project partners of this new research project.

The project examines COVID-19 impact on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. In particular, it focuses on providing real-time data about how the pandemic is impacting voluntary organisations working-practices and operations, their responses, learning and resilience.

There are three purposes to the project

  • To provide real-time data and learning on how COVID-19 is impacting the whole sector and, significantly, how this varies across different organisations by size, structure and services offered.
  • To present lessons-learned reports regarding the impacts and responses to COVID-19 from organisations; particularly focusing on the new working-practices and innovations which can be scaled across the UK.
  • To put forward insights which it is envisioned will assist the long-term resilience of the entire VCSE sector.

The project activities consist of :

  • A COVID-19 impact barometer providing real-time data about the impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector
  • A dashboard allowing policymakers, practitioners and researchers to drill-down into the data and see how COVID-19 is impacting different types of organisations or places
  • A representative panel survey to tracking how particular types of organisations are responding over time
  • In-depth interviews every month with different voluntary and community organisations to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on VCSE organisations, around 300 interviews over the lifetime of the project

The first wave of the survey was completed between 21st September and 5th October. It generated responses from 697 organisations, with a good level of response from all of the English Regions.

If you want to suggest particular themes for the research  you can email them at

The first report provides just a taster of some of the emerging findings.

Those being that funding continues to create real concerns for many organisations, causing uncertainty about their futures. Some organisations are using their reserves and others are making cuts, particularly redundancies or reducing services in order to survive.

You can read the first report here

You can also view the first set of findings via an interactive dashboard here.

The next round of the barometer has just opened and will be available until 9 November.  If you want to contribute to the survey, see the link here.