Research

Our aim is to develop knowledge about the voluntary and community sector for the benefit of researchers, policy makers and organisations interested in the sector through a range of research projects.

We provide basic research training developed to meet the needs of individuals within the sector on how to conduct reliable research. 

Research Themes

The work of the research team can be broken down into four main themes; resources, people, performance and influence.

Our Primary Research

State of the Sector (SOS)

State of the Sector is the definitive resource on the size, scope and finances of the Northern Ireland Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector.   Explore State of the Sector now

Viewfinder

Viewfinder is a snapshot survey of the sector so we can get an overview of what it thinks about certain issues and the problems it is facing. We send the survey out to all of our members every few months.

Salary Survey

This study looks at changing salary and employment benefit trends in the voluntary and community sector. We develop and circulate the questionnaire, analyse the results and write the final report.

Charitable Giving Survey

The Charitable Giving Survey researches how much money people in Northern Ireland donate. It looks at what charities individuals donate to, how they donated and why.

Consultancy

We welcome external research contracts. Our clients to date have included Supporting People (NIHE), Northern Ireland Audit Office, Department for Regional Development, Copius Consulting , CIVICUS, The Wheel, SEUPB, Voluntary and Community Unit at DSD, and the Volunteer Development Agency now known as Volunteer Now.

Research on the Road

This is a series of training aimed at groups outside of Belfast to help them design their own research projects. The session offers advice and expertise on how to conduct reliable research. It provides a ‘rough guide’ to research methods and highlights the importance of research reports and other methods of dissemination. These events are specifically tailored for the voluntary and community sector.

Research and Reports

Supporting People

The Financial Benefits of the Supporting People Programme in Northern Ireland

This report estimates the costs that would be incurred if the Supporting People programme were to cease.

Universal Childcare in Northern Ireland Report Front Cover

Universal Childcare in Northern Ireland

This report estimates the economic implications of providing universal childcare in Northern Ireland using cost-benefit analysis.

Individual Giving Infograph 2014

Individual Giving in Northern Ireland 2014

NICVA’s latest research into charitable giving in Northern Ireland examines change in the percentage of individuals that donate, donation by age, the causes donated to, fundraising techniques, methods of donation and legacy giving.

Funder responsiveness to concerns on delayed payments results

Viewfinder 16

This viewfinder survey focuses on prompt payment for grant claims, charity registration, open data and the role of media in influencing public opinion

Salary Survey 2012

NICVA’S Salary Survey 2012 is the fourth such study carried out in Northern Ireland. The research focuses on the issues of recruitment, retention, training and pensions as well as salaries and benefits.

Individual Giving in NI 2013

Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland 2013

NICVA’s latest research into charitable giving in Northern Ireland examines who donates to charity, how much they donate and where they donate from.

State of the Sector VI

State of the Sector VI

State of the Sector VI provides a comprehensive picture of the scale and scope of the economic activities of the Northern Ireland voluntary and community sector.

Salary Survey 2010 Report Cover

Salary Survey 2010

NICVA’S Salary Survey 2010 is the third such study carried out in Northern Ireland. It focuses on the workforce composition of the voluntary and community sector and considers the issues of recruitment and retention as well as salaries and benefits.

Northern Ireland Giving Survey 2010 Cover

Northern Ireland Giving Survey 2010

NICVA’s latest research into charitable giving in Northern Ireland suggests that the number of individuals giving to charity, and the amounts donors are giving, have remained steady despite the recession.

Managing to Deliver Report Cover

Managing to Deliver: Public Service Delivery in Northern Ireland

This research examines the impact of public service delivery in Northern Ireland and involved analysing the impact of contracted public services and developing a detailed assessment of the economic scale of public service delivery.

State of the Sector V Report Cover

State of the Sector V

State of the Sector V assesses how the voluntary and community sector is funded, how many people it employs and how many volunteers are involved with organisations.

Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland 2008 Cover

Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland 2008

This research into charitable giving in Northern Ireland reveals a changing picture and poses a number of challenges for fundraisers at a time when prevailing economic conditions are worsening.

Salary Survey 2006 Report Cover

Salary Survey 2006

This report is the second study of its kind completed by NICVA in the past five years. It looks at workforce composition with regard to age, sex, contracts, job titles and remuneration levels.

Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland 2005 Cover

Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland 2005

This research provides a detailed insight into the profile of donors and giving patterns in Northern Ireland.

Updates

NI sector organisations employ over 53,000 and 1 in 7 involve EU mainland nationals

NICVA’s latest Workforce Survey has revealed that an estimated 53,620 individuals are employed within the VCSE sector in NI.

Research partnerships with the VCSE sector – NICVA and QUB hold their first joint Community Based Research Engagement Event

In February, NICVA and the Research and Enterprise Directorate at QUB hosted their first ever joint event on facilitating community based research as part of the Engaged Research Action Plan 2019-2021.

As charitable giving in Northern Ireland falls, charities are going digital to fund their vital work

NICVA’s latest survey of Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland shows that donations have fallen since 2017 but that digital giving through electronic means appears to be becoming ever more popular.

Research on the Road - free research training to organisations you support

NICVA are pleased to announce that they will be providing free research training to the voluntary and community sector. If you would like to avail of this opportunity for organisations you support, then please get in touch.

#NICVAPeople - a minute with Dr Helena Mc Elhinney

This month's #NICVAPeople interview is with Dr Helena Mc Elhinney.

Fewer people giving to charity compared to one year ago

People in Northern Ireland are less likely to give money to charity and in smaller amounts compared to last year, according to NICVA research. 

90% of adults in Northern Ireland have used a charitable or voluntary service in the last year, NICVA research reveals

1,326,722 people in Northern Ireland – 90% of the adult population – have made use of a charitable or voluntary service in the past 12 months.

Detail Data Partnership with the ADRC-NI

For some time, Detail Data and the ADRC NI have worked in partnership to bring different source of research and data to the voluntary and community sector to help inform their decision making, service delivery and strategic planning.

NICVA launches open data and data sharing viewfinder

NICVA has launched a Viewfinder survey to assess members experience of open data and data sharing. The results will help us when engaging with government on open data and to get a clear picture of data sharing arrangements in the sector.

NICVA Launches Data Viewfinder

NICVA has launched a Viewfinder survey to members in order to assess their data governance and security. The results will be used to help us ensure members are fully supported with these issues when preparing for GDPR. 

Helena Mc Elhinney's picture

Dr. Helena Mc Elhinney

Research Officer

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The support received from NICVA has been excellent. The professionalism is greatly appreciated and the efficient delivery has been extremely valuable to Rural Support given the limited resources that we are currently operating under.

Jude McCann, Executive Director – Rural Support