Our Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan 2021-2026 

In 2019 our Executive Committee began the process of devising our new strategic direction alongside reviewing our governance arrangements.  This included an external examination of our existing strategic goals and their impact, a survey to our members and other key stakeholders and an analysis of the external Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legislative and Environmental (PESTLE) context. In our PESTLE analysis we scanned the horizon for wider issues and trends in the global, national, and local environment and considered their potential implications, firstly for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, and then for NICVA as an organisation.  By January 2020, much work had been concluded on the development of the new plan and the review of our governance arrangements.    

Our new strategy is now also in response to the impact of Covid-19 and the changing needs of our members. Throughout 2020 we surveyed the VCS to determine the impact of Covid.  The Voluntary and Community Sector has played a pivotal role in the immediate response to Covid-19, and they will continue to play a vital role in the coming months and years. The sector will need to adapt their medium and long term strategies, to aid the recovery and build resilience in the sector, long past the crisis.   

Furthermore the Manifesto for Change document, prepared by NICVA at the request of the Minister for Communities was to serve as an initial discussion document identifying some of the key strategic issues facing the sector and its future development. The issues raised within the Manifesto document reflect key issues voluntary and community organisations have raised with NICVA over several years and which NICVA has continued to advocate to government on, alongside and on behalf of the sector.  All this information has helped steer the work of our staff and our Executive Committee to produce this master plan for our future. Our strategy describes the role we will play in leading and supporting the sector to respond to all these challenges.    

Our strategic aims

Four strategic aims will determine our programmes of work over the next five years.  Our commitment to embedding impact practice in our work will provide a framework by which we can judge our success in their delivery. Each aim is supported by a series of outcomes which specifies the changes we want to see, our priorities for the next five years and how we will achieve them. The priorities identified against the aims are not exhaustive and are likely to evolve as the context changes. Our strategy is underpinned by our Vision Mission and Values which drives all that we do.   

Our Aims

Strategic Aim 1 - Support:  Helping the VCS to innovate, develop and improve to meet the needs of the communities it serves

We will provide: 

  • High quality, diverse, learning and development opportunities. 
  • Timely and relevant information, guidance, advice, and resources. 
  • Bespoke support to our members - focussing on their specific needs
  • Partnership opportunities with other sectors

Strategic Aim 2 - Influence:  Amplifying our Sector's Voice  

We will: 

  • Advocate strongly for the critical role of the Voluntary and Community Sector 
  • Embed our members experience in policy development 
  • Develop policy forums with, and for, the Sector
  •  Convene members and provide opportunities to influence policy makers directly 
  • Strengthen partnerships with research institutions and establish and Voluntary and Community Sector research hub
  • Lead impact measurement for the Voluntary and Community Sector, showcasing the stories and true value of our sector

Strategic Aim 3 - Develop: Supporting the Voluntary and Community Sector to innovate, develop and thrive 

We will: 

  • Develop and lead digital transformation 
  • Provide support for collaboration and strategic development 
  • Monitor and identify emerging trends, including technological advancements, social changes, economic shifts and environmental changes that have the potential to impact our Sector
  • Provide robust evidence regarding the future workforce needs of our Sector

Strategic Aim 4 - Invest:   Ensuring continuous improvement to provide the  best service to our members. 

We will: 

  • Support excellent governance arrangements
  • Support and develop a flexible workforce by fostering a culture of continuous learning, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing. Ensuring staff members are equipped with the skills and insights needed to thrive in a dynamic environment
  • Develop of digital systems and processes
  • Sustain resources and seeking opportunities to diversify our funding mix.  

Operational Plan

Our strategy is supported by an annual operational plan which sets out the detailed work plan in support of our four key goals. It describes the activity we will undertake, the outputs we plan to deliver but importantly how we will assess and measure the impact of our work.  Our annual plan will be agile and responsive to the external environment and we will continually assess our work, its relevance to the sector and the need to develop new services as the demand and external environment dictates.