NICVA AGM 2023: Celebrating our impact and looking to the future

13 Dec 2023 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 13 Dec 2023

We held our 85th AGM on Friday, 8 December with over 100 of our members, and sector colleagues in attendance to hear about our work over the year and our priorities for the year ahead.

Welcoming our AGM attendees was the wonderful local school choir from St Therese of Lisieux Primary School. We also had a variety of our members exhibiting, showcasing their work and impact throughout the year.

NICVA Chair, Olwen Lyner, formally opened our event and spoke of the challenging year NICVA and our sector have had. Despite this, the team at NICVA continued to support the sector and respond to the changing needs of members through our guidance, resources and training.

Reflecting on NICVA’s 22/23 year

NICVA Chief Executive, Celine McStravick gave some highlights of NICVA’s work in 2022/23 including answering almost 1,000 queries from the sector, supporting almost 1,300 learners to develop their skills through our training, and over half a million visitors to our website, accessing our guidance and resources.

Alongside this we grew our membership by over 100 organisations, who we will support to make more impact, have their work amplified and create connections with people who want charities to thrive.

View a snapshot of this work in our infographic

View our full annual report here



Changes to NICVA’s Executive Committee

It was announced that the following trustees have been elected to join our Executive Committee

Celine also thanked our departing trustee Heather Weir from Northern Ireland Hospice, for her expertise and dedication, and wished her the best for the future.

Looking to the future

Highlighting NICVA is now at the halfway point in our strategy, Celine expressed how we have taken time to reflect on what our sector and our members need from us. Key priorities moving forward are - keeping our members at the heart of everything we do; investing in our research skills so we can evidence the needs and impact of the sector; and redefining our relationship with government and collaborations with the private sector.

Celine also called on all political parties and governments to find a way to restore the Northern Ireland Executive and deliver for our communities.

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland the Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn MP

We were joined by the Shadow Secretary of State for NI, Hilary Benn who openly thanked our sector for our work and commitment to supporting people through Covid and the Cost of Living Crisis. He also echoed Celine comments by saying;

“These are very difficult times for many people with tough budgets and political uncertainty, and that is why the single most important step that can be taken to change this is to get the institutions up and running so that politicians can do their job and the voluntary sector can make sure that its voice is heard.”

Maximising your impact

Coinciding with Impact Month at NICVA, our guest speaker was Adam Luecking, CEO of Clear Impact, and author of 'Social Sector Hero: How Government and Philanthropy Can Fund for Impact'.  Adam gave an impassioned presentation on how voluntary and community organisations can improve their performance and achieve measurable impact.

He highlighted 8 practical strategies that can help organisations make effective data-based decisions and clearly communicate the impact to donors, funders, and the public. Hear more on these strategies from Adam in our video:

Adam also kindly made his bestselling book available to download for our sector.  

Download the 'Social Impact Hero' book here



Olwen closed the AGM by thanking NICVA’s Executive Committee and staff for working so hard during such challenging times and a final thanks to our members for their incredible work and impact in communities.'s picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Communications Officer

[email protected]

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