Government’s levelling up agenda ‘needs charity involvement’ to succeed, warns NCVO

The NCVO has warned the government that its levelling up agenda, to support communities and the local economy in disadvantaged areas, requires collaboration with charities to succeed.

It says that “charities and volunteers are embedded in the communities they serve so have a vital role to play”.

The call has come in the sector body’s report Levelling Up: The Role of Charities and Volunteering.

Also being called for is more devolution at a local level so that decision making is put “in the hands of communities and local institutions”.

Long term funding for local areas is also needed through community endowments and a greater focus on philanthropy.

It wants to see existing levelling up funding redesigned to allow charities to play a greater role.

It cites previous research that estimates charities will miss out, as most of the current funding will go on capital infrastructure such as transport, parks and building repairs.

In addition, the NCVO is calling for greater use of community spaces and investment in social infrastructure “to be the hubs for building and harnessing relationships, opportunities and ideas”.

Involvement of charities in levelling up initiatives is also needed amid Covid-19 recovery due to the significant role of the voluntary sector mobilising support amid the pandemic.

“Charities and voluntary organisations see first-hand how rising inequality has been worsened by the pandemic,” adds the report, which involved the views of more than 200 organisations.

“To resolve it, communities will need varying levels and types of support to realise their ambitions.

“Throughout the covid-19 pandemic, we have seen the incredible resilience, resolve and ingenuity of citizens, communities and organisations. Through hard times, communities have come together – whether in formal associations, informal networks, or just being a good neighbour. At times, they responded quicker than established institutions and stepped up in the face of crisis.

“We owe a tremendous debt to all those who have given and lost so much during the covid-19 crises. We believe our repayment for this national sacrifice must be a transformational agenda in tackling inequality for all. Communities, through charities and volunteering, must play a central role in this challenge.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


How to elevate your non-profit storytelling with data and performance metrics.
Sage Intacct the non-profit financial management platform, takes a look at giving trends and insights.

What has the pandemic taught us about the public’s perception of charities?
In this episode of the Charity Times Leadership podcast, we take a look at what the pandemic has taught us about the public’s perception of charities. Charity fundraising platform, Enthuse, recently released its quarterly donor research study, which highlighted significant shifts in donor behaviour throughout the duration of the pandemic. Not only does the report highlight an overarching sense of positivity towards the sector, but a propensity for younger generations to give more generously, too. Lauren Weymouth is joined by Enthuse CEO, Chester Mojay-Sinclare to discuss more.

The importance of the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’
In this episode, Lauren Weymouth is joined by Ketan Patel, equities fund manager at EdenTree, to delve into the issue of social investment and why that all-important ‘S’ in ESG is more relevant now than ever before. The social element of ESG often gets forgotten when thinking about investing in more ethical and sustainable ways. But, after a challenging year for all areas of society, social injustice has been highlighted, and there’s a much greater need for charities to put people at the heart of their investment decisions.