As a Voice4Change England member, you will receive niche support and innovative solutions for the survival of your organisation. You will gain entry to a unique networking space for collaborations and peer mentoring.
We have brought three national support organisations together to give you easy access to better, integrated and tailored services. Find the exact support services you need, when you need them most.
This collaboration (the first of its kind between generic and specialist support providers) will ensure a better fit for BME organisations by offering a suite of complementary generic and specialist support and services from all partner organisations, based on the strengths and specialisms of each.
When Voice4Change England were thinking about introducing a new membership programme, we wanted to do more than create a sign-up system, we wanted to create something that embodied and represented our values and aims to the sector, something that would inspire a new way of working.
We found that the biggest challenge in the sector was the gap that lay between the generic support providers and BME organisations of all sorts. The sector as a whole seemed caught up in the debate around generic or specialist – who ought to be serving the sector and the organisations providing vital services to our communities? We thought why not prove to the sector that it did not have to be one or the other? Let us show that generic and specialist support providers did in reality provide complementary services not competing or duplicate ones, as most people believed.
When the programme partners met to discuss the collaboration, it became evident that each partner was bringing special skills and expertise to the table. It was also obvious that while it seemed that partners were providing similar services like consultancy or information the core content and aims were very different. So, email bulletins produced by each organisation carried distinct content tailored to community/local organisations, BME issues or wider sector concerns.
V4CE hopes that this collaboration will work at two levels. First, that it will provide easier access for BME voluntary and community organisations to generic (and specialist) support and better reach for support providers into the chronically under-resourced BME VCS. Secondly, this programme will create a platform for more joint working between the programme partners, to possibly enable joint services, events and resources in the future as well as more interaction between the members of each partner organisation encouraging more engagement, participation, cross-fertilisation of networks and ultimately stronger relationships between different parts of the sector.
NCVO are the largest umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector and wider civil society with an extensive range of services, advice and resources to offer. As the key generic national support organisation for the sector, V4CE felt it important to improve the diversity of the members they served and help provide easier access for BME organisations to a range of generic services. This programme has also allowed V4CE and NCVO to showcase their distinct yet complementary services and support offers.
Voice4Change England value their relationship with Community Matters who champion voluntary and community action at a neighbourhood level.
Community Matters bring specialist expertise on organisational development, community assets, range of advice services and quality standards for small community organisations, local groups and activists, which would be of great value to our small and local BME members. V4CE and Community Matters hope to also work together behind the scenes to offer joint services, host joint events and produce joint resources for members of both organisations in the future.
Charity Builder UK is a unique service funded by Tennyson Insurance that provides practical solutions to managing HR, complying with health and safety regulation, and buying cheap insurance. This service is only available for free to voluntary and community organisations through a national partner like V4CE.
Voice4Change England felt it would a valuable benefit to their often cash-strapped BME members to avail of hands-on support to organisational essentials for free.
The old Subscriber Scheme no longer exists and has been replaced by the much enhanced new collaborative membership programme. All V4CE Subscribers and their data will be transferred to the new programme, unless they chose to opt-out.
The Collaborative Membership Programme is different from the Subscriber Scheme in three ways. First, the new programme is a membership structure that feeds into the governance of the organisation, so members will attend AGMs to vote for the V4CE board.
Second, the collaboration with NCVO, Community Matters and Charity Builder UK enables the programme to offer a wider range of complementary services to meet generic or specialist needs. From time to time, we will also ask you in more detail about your needs and views to help us design better and more targeted support and services for you.
Thirdly, we will be reviewing the success of the programme and introduce new partners to our membership programme to further widen the choice we offer V4CE members so that they can benefit from an even broader range of support and services.
This programme is core to Voice4Change England’s activities. This is part of the Strengthening Voices project funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s BASIS Round 2.
You will need to register on to the Charity Builder service at www.charitybuilder.co.uk, quoting your affiliation to V4CE. You will then receive your login information and be ready to access their unique support service.
This collaboration will ensure you have a wider choice of services. We have been working behind the scenes to ensure that we and our partner organisations do not offer duplicate services, but instead have a range of services that play to our strengths and specialisms. All partners will refer to the right provider depending on your needs – so if you are looking for advice on managing a community asset we will ask you to contact the Community Matters team and if you are after training on managing finances we will signpost you to NCVO, and if you need support on lobbying locally or want your needs on the agenda of policymakers, we will be here to help.
We also aim to work together to host events and create resources that we feel will benefit you.
We are here to represent your needs and your issues to national policy-makers and want to help you make your case for change in your area. Our policy team will provide you with briefings on the big topics that will affect you and your users, invite you to our lobbying events and help you connect with the people that matter most.
Our Working Better programme, in partnership with CES has supported BME organisations and networks to implement quality assurance and impact tools, as well as develop bespoke training programmes with its BME users. We will ensure you choose the right tools and skills and have access to a range of resources that work for you.
V4CE are committed to helping BME organisations collaborate and work better together. You can chat to our Collaboration Officer to assess your needs or just ask a question. We will ensure you are able to find the right resources and skills – and to top it all, we will connect you to others doing similar work, and invite to our networking events, as well as sign you up to our virtual networks, so you can continue your conversations anytime you want.
V4CE are here to provide you with specialist support and advice on meeting the needs of BME organisations and do not offer help with generic organisational development. You needn’t worry, because our partnership with NCVO and Community Matters ensures that we are able to signpost you to cost-effective services. We are offering a special 20% discount on your membership fees to both organisations, to make it a little bit easier for you to access their services.