By Andrew Holt
In separate meetings today the Boards of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Volunteering England have taken another step towards merger by agreeing to merge subject to due diligence.
The Trustees received reports that the formal talks had reached agreement on key elements in merging the two organisations, covering brand and identity, governance and organisational structure.
As previously announced on June 21, the merged organisation will be known as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the brands of Volunteering England and the Institute for Volunteering Research will be maintained.
A new strapline has now been agreed: “Championing Volunteering and Civil Society”.
On completing the merger, two trustees from the Volunteering England Board will be appointed to the NCVO Board, and an additional Volunteering England trustee will be appointed to the Nominations Committee for selecting NCVO trustee candidates.
A new directorate will also be created, headed by an Executive Director for Volunteering and Development.
Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs, chair of Trustees of Volunteering England, stated: "Volunteering has become a national passion. It is great for Volunteering England to be moving towards merger with NCVO from such a position of strength. Working together will provide greater opportunity to ensure the voice of volunteering remains loud."
Martyn Lewis, the chair of Trustees of NCVO, stated: “I am delighted that our boards have taken this important next step. Trustees and staff from both organisations have worked hard to reach agreement on moving forward.
"With volunteering so high on the agenda in this Olympic summer, I am excited by what our two organisations can do together to support volunteering and be a strong and independent voice of civil society.”
Justin Davis Smith CBE, chief executive of Volunteering England, stated: “This agreement is a tribute to trustees and colleagues in both organisations who have worked together constructively with mutual respect and shared commitment to the cause.
"Our members will benefit from establishing arrangements to maintain and improve our services, and to promote excellent leadership and management for volunteering.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, stated: “I am very pleased that our conversations with Volunteering England are going well.
"We have worked hard to ensure that we put volunteering at the heart of NCVO going forward. We plan to create an organisation that will be a strong champion for volunteering and civil society.”
Formal talks will now continue between the two organisations with a view to completing the merger early in 2013.
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