The Latest Sector-Relevant Research and Reports

Below is a selection of national research that is up to date and covers some of the latest issues of interest to VCS organisations. If you would like to see something included on this page that isn't here, please contact us!

Cost of Living Crisis Impact on the Voluntary Sector

VCSE Sector Barometer Survey, undertaken in partnership between Pro Bono Economics and Nottingham Trent University provides the best national picture of the impacts of the cost of living crisis on the national sector. Below are the reports published thus far from this project:

Shifting Out of Reverse June 2023

Running Hot, Burning Out March 2023

Breaching the Dam December 2022


Covid-19 Impact on the Voluntary Sector

  • Nottingham Trent University, Sheffield Hallam University, the NCVO and the Economic and Social Research Council have collaborated on a massive research project that has produced many useful reports, as well as a monthly Covid-19 Barometer Dashboard.
  • The Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) has collected a repository of research studies regarding the voluntary sector and Covid-19. Some of the research is aimed at academic audiences, but much of it is useful for the voluntary sector as well.
  • The 2021 CAF UK Giving Report has a lot of information that is relevant to the current state of the voluntary sector as a result of financial trends due to the pandemic.
  • The University of Birmingham's Third Sector Research Centre is currently completing a study on the financial vulnerability and risk of UK charities as a result of Covid. Their website has briefing papers, and they are due to release their final report this year.

The 2023 NCVO Road Ahead

The Road Ahead report is the NCVO's annual analysis of the changing operating environment for organisations and those working or volunteering in the voluntary sector. It identifies and explains forces and trends shaping the sector and are likely to have an impact on voluntary organisations in the future. The 2023 report was released on 25th Jan.

Equity and Inclusion

The Voice4Change and ACEVO 2020 report Home Truths: undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector is an excellent place to start for organisations looking to work on equity and inclusion.

Rural Health Inequalities

In 2019 the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Rural Health and Care and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care launched a three-year investigation to address health inequalities for rural communities. The report, released in February of 2022, includes recommendations and facts on rural health inequalities that VCS organisations may find useful. Download the summary report here or the full report from the National Centre for Rural Health and Care website.

The Value of Small

In 2018, Lloyds Bank Foundation produced a report on "The Value of Small" - an in-depth look at the value and contribution of small and medium-sized charities in England and Wales

In 2021, the same researchers followed up with some of their case study areas to look at the value of small during the Covid-19 crisis with "The Value of Small in a Big Crisis" report.

Leading with Kindness

"Leading with Kindness" is a report from the Carnegie UK Trust, telling the story of the Kindness Leadership Network and offering six goals designed to enable organisations of all kinds and in all places to sustain and deepen their focus on kindness. 

Carnegie UK Trust also offers a number of other reports and organisational resources centred on Wellbeing