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NCVO sees membership rise 4% but ends financial year with ‘larger than planned’ deficit

Melanie May | 31 October 2022 | News

NCVO annual report 2021/22 cover

NCVO membership hit 17,000 in the last financial year, despite the challenges of 2021/22, rising 4%. However, it ended the year with a ‘larger than planned’ £718,000 deficit.

To ensure continued service delivery, NCVO’s trustees chose to plug the gap using its reserves.

According to the organisation’s latest annual report and financial accounts, published today, NCVO had had 17,102 members at the end of March 2022 – a 4% year-on-year growth. 66% have incomes under £30,000, meaning their membership is free, and the remainder are paying members. Membership numbers have continued to grow into 2022/23 – currently standing at 17,394.


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However, growth has slowed compared to the previous year when many organisations turned to NCVO for support during the challenges of the pandemic, and its membership retention rate also dropped by 10% as organisations continue to feel the impact of the pandemic and funding difficulties.

NCVO also puts its larger than expected deficit down to the impact of the pandemic, reporting a drop in both income and expenditure despite consistent demand.

It was particularly impacted by the continued effect of Covid-19 restrictions on its conference suite income, as well as a fall in income from the Charities Aid Foundation. It is however forecasting a breakeven budget for 2022/23 with its conference suite income growing back, and other sources of income such as training and membership also starting to grow.

It reports a total income of £5.4mn (£7.5mn in 20/21) and a total expenditure of £6.3mn (£7.4mn in 20/21) in 21/22. Last year saw NCVO deliver most of its services online, including over 100 training programmes and courses, and also continued to develop its range of online resources. The year also saw NCVO’s website, practical support and resources receive 852,000 users and over 3.2mn page views, and it hosted more than 60 online events, attended by over 3,000 participants.

Dr Priya Singh, NCVO Chair of Trustees commented:

“We began to see the true impact of the pandemic on NCVO members in 2021 and 2022. Many of the safety nets which had been put in place during the previous year of the pandemic were either not available or not available to the same extent. NCVO’s experience certainly mirrors that of our members and the wider sector, with a much more challenging year financially compared to the year before.


“Despite this financial picture we believed that making the choice to use our reserves to maintain our services for the voluntary sector while we rebuild our income streams was vital and again reflected the challenging decisions being made across our sector during 2021 and 2022.”