Policy and campaigning

For information about policies affecting voluntary organisations in Nottingham, and advice on campaigning follow the links on the left.


About the voluntary and community sector

The voluntary and community sector is the collective name for local community groups, voluntary organisations, charities, faith groups, social enterprises and community interest companies.  There is the public sector, the private sector and the voluntary and community sector.  Some people prefer to use the term civil society or the third sector.

How we help the local voluntary sector

Decision maker engagement

NCVS helps connect the local voluntary sector to those in the city making the decisions. Quite often, these are through question and answer sessions with councillors and MPs at the Nottingham CVS offices, allowing the sector to get a feel for how a council has reached its decisions – or to try and influence their future decision making.

If you have a question for a major public figure, but you’re concerned about asking it for whatever reason, NCVS might be able to help by acting as an intermediary. Get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.

Policy engagement, translation and awareness raising

The way the government runs the country is ever changing, and this can affect the ways voluntary sector organisations do their work.  We keep an eye on changes to government policy or procedure, keeping the local voluntary sector informed about what reforms might mean and how they might affect the way the sector does its work in Nottingham.

We do this through news items in our e-bulletin, and in the case of a major change, we publish Policy Briefings with advice about how the reforms will affect local groups.

We also watch national campaigns which aim to change policy for the benefit of the sector and will advertise that we have signed these as an organisation. This will be because we think the reforms are important and could help local organisations – but it’s your choice if you wish to endorse the campaign on behalf of your organisation.

Board representation

There are a series of major strategic boards across the city that can make decisions which affect the voluntary sector. Voluntary sector employees and volunteers sit on some of the major boards. They are known as VCS advocates.

They speak up, or ‘advocate,’ on behalf of the sector based on their experience and knowledge of the sector and the issues it is facing. Their purpose is two-fold:

  • To use this experience and knowledge to try and ensure decisions are made with the voluntary sector’s interests considered, and so that the sector isn’t adversely affected by any ghanges.
  • To use their unique position and knowledge of how things are 'on the ground' to ensure effective and rounded service delivery across the partnership they sit on.


NCVS conducts research across the sector. Some of this is yearly research, some slightly less regular, and some as and when it’s needed.

We annually, anonymously survey the sector to try and understand how it is managing to deliver its services. This is called our State of the Sector work, which asks questions around demand for services, levels of funding, staff and volunteer numbers and issues we hear affect the sector through the year. This work often gains a lot of attention and is subject to review at the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, so anonymity is highly valued.

We are currently undertaking research on the economic value of the voluntary sector to Nottingham, as a follow up to our 2010 report '227 million reasons to value the local voluntary sector'. If you would like your organisation to be involved in this research project, we would welcome your input. You can find out more information on how to get involved by emailing communications[at]nottinghamcvs.co[dot]uk.

We have also carried out some commissioned research to support broader programmes by other organisations.

Last updated: 23 April 2015