Tag Archive for: The Road Ahead report

The road ahead is bumpy, but we are here to help

Kathryn Shepherdson header

For those unaware, on the 29th of February, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) launched its Road Ahead paper. A research piece which looks at the up-and-coming potential challenges facing the voluntary and community sectors in the coming year.

Depending on your organisation’s shape, size, and makeup, the challenges will be different. Here are a few I found interesting along with how Support Cambridgeshire can support your organisation this year:

Funding Uncertainty: Voluntary organisations often rely on public funding, grants, and donations. Economic fluctuations or changes in government priorities could lead to funding uncertainties, affecting the sustainability of organisations. We are already seeing that public donations are decreasing, and with more local authorities declaring bankruptcy, this is a worrying time. Groups need to look at income generation from a mixture of sources. With that, Support Cambridgeshire continues to offer the Support Cambridgeshire funding database, a free directory of funders. We also have a Funding alert email highlighting local and national funding pots the team thinks your group could be interested in, plus our countywide Funding Month in March, which allows you to listen to over 25 local and national funders talk about how to access their funding pots.


Increased Demand for Services: Economic and demographic changes are leading to an increase in demand for some services; we expect this to increase further. The uncertainty around political changes is not helping matters when thinking about the future and what groups can do now to support their clients and stay relevant. This has not helped with the national decrease in volunteers that the sector has seen over the past few years. While Support Cambridgeshire is unable to support you with the uncertainty, we are here to support you to be ready for whatever comes around the corner. This includes running regular training on strategy, finance, and much more. Don’t forget our on-demand training portal, where we keep adding training, which is open to anyone, at any time of the day. In addition, our Governance Month we are launching in November, is worth checking out, where we have a range of events looking at the governance of our sector. Regarding the volunteers, we have our Connecting Communities month in June, which looks at all things volunteer recruitment and retainment and don’t forget the Volunteer Cambs website.


Policy and Regulatory Changes: Changes in government policies, regulations, or compliance requirements could also impact local community groups in Cambridgeshire. This year, several laws are coming into place around HR, Procurement, Environment, and Campaigning. This is going to require groups to keep up to date with legislation and how they comply. Support Cambridgeshire knows it is important to inform the sector of the changes, making sure we highlight these changes in our news blogs and updates, which you’ll find on the front page of the Support Cambridgeshire website. You can also sign up to have these drop into your inbox. The other place to keep updated on these changes is through our network sessions, which run regularly throughout the year. We have several opportunities to hear what’s happening both locally and nationally.

2024 is going to be one of those years which has lots of change; however, repeatedly voluntary and community organisations have proven that they are up to the challenge. Support Cambridgeshire, however, wants to hear how you are doing, so don’t forget to get engaged in our annual State of the Sector survey, which allows us to see locally if these national trends are the same in Cambridgeshire.


This blog was aided by ChatGPT but all views are of the author.