Viewfinder 18 Results

18 Mar 2016 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 8 Jul 2016

Thanks to all of our members who completed the Viewfinder survey. We were delighted to have such a great response rate of 19.3% (it was sent to 6,241 staff in member organisations and 1,209 responded).

You can find an open dataset of the responses to Viewfinder 18 on the Detail Data Portal.

Viewfinder is a NICVA survey which focuses on issues affecting the community and voluntary sector. The survey is distributed to NICVA members four times a year. The first Viewfinder of 2016 focused on skills needs. The survey was distributed to staff across NICVA’s member organisations from 23rd February to 11th March 2016. 

Some of the findings from the Viewfinder are listed below:

  • Close to one-third of respondents were managers (30%), followed by project workers (15%) and head of organisation and trustees (both 12%).
  • 56% of respondents reported that they had management and leadership skills gaps with strategic planning, financial management and change management ranking as the top 3 gaps.
  • 48% said that they had skills gaps in diversifying their organisation’s income streams with developing a fundraising strategy, writing tenders and funding for corporate and major donors ranking as the top 3.
  • 35% said that they had governance training needs with compliance with charity regulations, roles and responsibilities of the board and risk assessment ranking as the top 3.
  • 47% said that they had communications skills gaps with communicating impact, advanced social media and digital communications ranking as top 3.
  • A quarter of respondents also said that they had other skills gaps – these 305 people identified the following skills needs: lobbying and campaigning 34%, engaging your community 33%, attracting volunteers 32%, managing digital technology 27%, developing partnerships 27%
  • In terms of the impact of skills shortages on organisations over half (55%) reported that it was increased workload for other staff, while over a third (39%) said that it resulted in difficulties in introducing change. A significant 15% of people said that it has meant withdrawing or closing services.
  • An encouraging 82% of those that responded said that they currently developed their own skills. Of these 992 people 64% participated in external training courses, 53% in internal courses, 51% in accredited training, 47% on the job training and 27% online training.
  • When asked if their organisation had a training budget 60% said yes, 32% said no and 7% said that they didn’t know.

This has provided us with really useful information to inform our skills development plans as we work to ensure that the skills gaps of our sector are provided for and that development interventions are relevant and accessible to all that need them.

You will see from our training calendar that we are already providing training solutions in some of the skills areas mentioned. We will continue to update and improve these as well as developing new courses, signposting to other training provision and working with other organisations to find development solutions to the skills gaps identified.

We are also pleased to announce that Kate Thompson from The Duke of Edinburgh Award was the winner of the prize draw and will receive £200 of NICVA training vouchers.'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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