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

State of the Sector Explores Volunteering in the VCSE Sector

NICVA’s latest State of the Sector research sheds light on the size, scope and finances of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector in a brand new online format. This article focuses on the Volunteering section of the research. 

Charity Commission NI launch research into public trust and confidence in charities

The Department for Communities Minister, Paul Givan MLA has launched the Charity Commission NI's Public trust and confidence in charities research report 2016.

State of the Sector Explores Organisations' Outlook for the Year Ahead

The latest State of the Sector research sheds light on the VCSE sector in Northern Ireland in a brand new online format. This article focuses on the Future Issues section of the research. 

NICVA Launch NI Faith Map Project

NICVA is sending out a call to all faith-based organisations to sign up to their exciting new 'NI Faith Map' project.  

NICVA Launch State of the Sector Research

NICVA has launched its latest State of the Sector research in a brand new online format. Explore the new online resource here.

Sector Forecast Survey Preliminary Findings Released

Earlier this year NICVA launched their Sector Forecast Survey which explored organisations outlook for 2016. This article presents some preliminary findings from the research. 

Viewfinder 19 - Increased awareness of open data in the voluntary and community sector

Thanks to all of our members who completed the Viewfinder 19 survey. We are delighted to have such a good response rate of 17.7%.

Individual Giving in Northern Ireland 2015

NICVA's latest research into charitable giving in Northern Ireland examined who donated to charity, how much they gave and the causes they supported. This year's Survey also examined participation in social media fundraising campaigns. 

NICVA Launches 2016 Sector Forecast Survey

NICVA has launched their 2016 Sector Forecast Survey. The Survey was sent to over 4,000 organisations and this is your opportunity to tell us about what you think 2016 holds for your organisation. 

Launch of 2014 Workforce Survey Top Line Findings

The 2014 Workforce Survey is NICVA's fifth such study in the series. The study explores salaries, recruitment, pensions, benefits and retention in the voluntary and community sector workforce. 

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