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Our finances and pay

Income

Historically, our income comes from three main sources.

  • Our members, who pay an annual membership fee (unless their income is under £30,000).
  • Our services, including our training, consultancy and our conference venue.
  • Charities Aid Foundation, a charity established by NCVO, which helps bring charities and donors together.

The financial year ending 31 March 2022 was challenging for charities. The continued effect of covid-19 restrictions particularly on our conference suite bookings – together with a reduction in the income we receive from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) – meant we moved from a planned deficit of £250,000 at the start of the year to a deficit of £718,000 (before changes to the gain from the defined benefit scheme).

Trustees chose to fund the deficit from reserves. This was so we could continue to deliver our services for the sector during a year of change whilst we rebuild our conference suite income and to work with CAF to understand CAF's explanation for making reduced payments to NCVO.

Salaries

We employ around 85 staff. Salaries for the chief executive, chief operating officer and directors are set and reviewed annually by our people, culture and inclusion committee (a sub-committee of our board of trustees).

The committee includes specialists with significant pay expertise and knowledge, especially of the voluntary sector.

All other staff salaries are set by the leadership team. They're arranged in organisation-wide pay bands:

  • using comparisons with charities of our size in London
  • considering factors including inflation and our financial position.

Salaries are openly stated in job adverts.

Our approach to pay

We're ambitious for the voluntary sector and believe in recruiting skilful, talented people to provide the biggest positive impact for the voluntary sector. We also believe in rewarding staff fairly for the jobs they do and in fostering a positive working environment. We believe our salaries and terms and conditions reflect this. We also believe in rewarding staff fairly for the jobs they do and in creating a positive working environment.

We believe our salaries and terms and conditions reflect this. We are a living wage-accredited employer – all our staff and contractors are paid at least the living wage/London living wage.

We think it’s important to create routes into charities for people who cannot afford to undertake unpaid ‘internships’, so we run an apprenticeship in partnership with Queen Mary University of London. This apprenticeship leads to a BSc Business Management degree – social change.

People are employed at NCVO because of the specific skills and experience they bring to their particular role. For us to run successfully, a large range of knowledge, skills, experience and professional qualifications are required.

We need to pay appropriately to make sure we can recruit people with the right skills and we are able to retain staff in a competitive market. Our staff pay scales are set with these factors in mind.

It’s also important to us that our staff develop skills that are readily transferable to other organisations, both in the voluntary sector and in other sectors. This will help staff in their future roles and career progression.

Chief executive, chief operating officer and directors' pay

Our unique position in representing the whole of the voluntary sector means our chief executive and directors need a breadth and depth of expertise which requires drawing from the best senior-level talent in a competitive market.

They need to be able to command the respect of their peers among our members, from the smallest to the very largest charities, through their experience and their credibility. At the same time, we seek to keep salary costs within a reasonable range and champion transparency in relation to senior pay.

Benchmarking

All staff pay levels are reviewed annually.

The chief executive and directors' pay is determined by the people, culture and inclusion committee. Their aim is to benchmark these salaries around the 25th percentile (the 25th percentile is the value at which 75% of the salaries lie above that value and 25% of the values lie below that value), which is the lower end, of larger national charities' pay levels, with a 7.5% tolerance.

We believe this comparison with national charities reflects the nature of the skills we need to recruit and retain.

Staff pay is reviewed by the leadership team and negotiated on behalf of staff by NCVO’s recognised union, Unite. Our aim is to pay at the 75th centile (the 75th percentile is the value at which 25% of the salaries lie above that value and 75% of the values lie below that value), which is the higher end, compared to organisations of our size in terms of income and number of employees in the voluntary sector.

The same benefits, including pensions, and terms and conditions apply to the chief executive, chief operating officer and directors as all other staff.

We don’t apply any form of performance-related pay and we don't have a bonus scheme. Staff receive one automatic pay increase after the first 12 months of service who remain at the same pay band.

Each year the chief executive and directors participate in performance appraisal, as part of the same feedback and appraisal scheme for all NCVO staff.

Current senior pay levels

  • Sarah Vibert, chief executive: £120,000
  • Laura Crandley, chief operating officer: £92,306
  • Alex Farrow, director of influencing and engagement: £78,000
  • Andrew Walkey, director of services and partnerships: £74,200 (home-based)
  • Vacant, director of people, culture and inclusion: £74,000
  • Vacant, director of strategic communications and insight: £74,000

Total salary excludes pension contributions. The chief executive, chief operating officer and directors, like all NCVO staff, are also entitled to other benefits (such as childcare vouchers) which are not included here.

Details of expenses for the chief executive, chief operating officer and directors are available in our annual report.

Pay ratio

The ratio of our highest salary (£120,000) to our median salary (£38,908) is 3.11.

Pay awards

While they are separately determined, annual pay awards for the chief executive, directors and staff have always been at the same percentage level.

  • Between 2011 and 2019: 2% pay award, followed by a 2.7% pay award for 2019/20 for the senior management team and staff
  • 2021/21: No pay award
  • 2021/22: There was a pay award of 2% and a pro-rata one-off payment of £500 for all staff other than the chief executive, chief operating officer and directors.

To reflect the current cost of living indices, we agreed:

  • a 4.25% pay award for all staff other than the leadership team for 2022/23
  • an award of 3% and a one-off (pro-rata) payment of £500 for the leadership team other than the chief executive, chief operating officer and directors.
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