The findings from NAVCA’s latest quarterly survey of members suggests that whilst the outlook may not be improving for many it has at least stabilised. The survey, the 9th in the series, illustrates that NAVCA members are less pessimistic about their prospects, with a sharp increase in those looking to extend their range of services. For the first time since the survey began more are planning to take on staff rather than reduce numbers. The survey uses a representative sample panel of NAVCA members to track trends in local voluntary action. The latest survey took place in July. Surveys have been run every three months since July 2012.
For the first time more respondents said that staffing levels will rise (17%) rather than fall (4%) over the next three months, although 80% expect staffing numbers will remain the same. Collaboration remains key for NAVCA members. A regular finding of this survey series is that NAVCA members are looking to increase collaboration with other local support organisations. This trend continues with over half (54%) anticipating more collaboration. Other charities are also seen as key to future success by 57% of respondents.
Yet again a majority of NAVCA members (58%) see the NHS as key to success and a similar number (54%) say their relations with local NHS bodies are improving. This quarter shows more respondents saying relationships with local authorities have got worse (21%) rather than improved (17%).
Neil Cleeveley, acting Chief Executive of NAVCA, said;
“It’s too early to tell if this marks a turning point. We need to dig a bit further to understand how things are changing. We know, for example, that there are significant cuts in public spending on the horizon whatever the outcome of the General Election.”
“What the survey tells me is that NAVCA members are expert at making the most out of the resources available. They are working hard to build partnerships to make sure local charities and community groups are well supported and are responding with new services to meet new needs.”