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Charities taking charge: transforming to face a changing world

NPC's State of the Sector Program...

Over the last 15 years NPC has worked with charities, funders, philanthropists, and others to support them to deliver the greatest possible impact for the causes and beneficiaries they exist to serve. A lot has changed in a decade and a half. And charities’ ability to adapt to this change is imperative if organisations are to make the impact everyone in the sector desires.

We started our State of the Sector programme to explore new ideas and approaches that offer the sector a way forwards. As we argued in our first State of the Sector paper—Boldness in times of change—wider social, demographic, funding, policy and technological trends are shifting the sands on which the sector is built. In this environment charities are needed more than ever to step up and take the lead in achieving social change. But we wanted to know whether the sector is adapting as it should in order to deliver greater impact in a changing world. So, through an ambitious programme of quantitative and qualitative research over a period of 6 months, we sought to find out.

This report brings together insights from the whole process, sharing perspectives and ideas on how charities can deliver impact in a changing world, and to what extent the sector is currently working in ways that enable this. We have endeavoured to be true to the research, whilst sharing the more imaginative and thought provoking approaches uncovered, rather than going over well—trodden ground or covering every topic. We seek to hold a mirror up to the sector, reflecting back what we have found as charity leaders themselves describe and identify it.