Charity leadership in the 2020s

Delivery Method: Blended


The programme is designed for those who aspire to be sector leaders and champions in the 2020s, and who want to take a considered and deliberate approach. You might be an emerging leader, a manager in charge of a team, or even a CEO who is running a small organisation looking to advance your skills.

The course is extremely challenging both intellectually and emotionally and for me it was really important not to be told how to be a leader but instead using what I have to be the best leader I could be.… I feel much more confident in my leadership style, I am more open, confident in my own ability and most importantly recognise the importance of being myself. Lee Heard, Royal Life Saving Society.


Read a detailed description of the course

We aspire for learners to see themselves as agents of positive change and to develop the capacity to envision a better future for all. As a charity leaders in the 2020s you will be able to:

  • maximise your ability to be an effective leader in your organisation and the sector
  • be entrepreneurial and digitally empowered
  • be open and transparent
  • recognise that the journey is as important as the destination
  • listen more attentively to contrasting opinions
  • negotiate more successfully with others
  • encourage responsibility in every aspect of their work
  • take steps to build the capacities of others.

Participants will be supported to work with the tensions and challenges reflected in the model below.


NCVO is at the forefront of leadership development for the voluntary sector, providing leadership development opportunities for almost 100 years. Our CEO, Sir Stuart Etherington is an Honorary Visiting Professor in Leadership at South Bank University. Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy and Volunteering, is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness. They are both established leadership coaches who stand up for the sector everyday. They are not afraid to challenge the sector from within and have led on high profile campaigns.

NCVO’s research team produce the annual Almanac and Road Ahead analysis. This is instrumental for the sector is in helping shape leaders of the future by giving them the tools and data to help see the new reality.

Current and recent leadership work includes:

Step on Board (since 2013)

The programme enables private sector leaders to take on leadership roles in the voluntary sector as trustees. It provides a tailored training and coaching that builds participants’ negotiation, strategic development, teamwork and leadership skills.

NCVO Leadership Programme (2008–2013)

Enabled 120 leaders of smaller voluntary and community organisations to develop their leadership skills. As a result of attending the programme 78% of participants felt that they were thinking more like a leader; 83% felt that they had more confidence in being the leader they would like to be; and 81% said that they had a better understanding of their leadership strengths.

Leadership 2020 Commission (2010)

NCVO established and hosted the commission to set out recommendations on what needed to be done to inspire and engage a new generation of civil society leaders. NCVO led on strengthening foresight within the sector by enabling infrastructure bodies to coordinate networks of emerging leaders to shape responses to future challenges.


Edward Kellow

Edward is a highly creative, enthusiastic and outcome orientated facilitator and coach, specialising in leadership, communications, and change. Edward has over twenty years’ experience in learning and development, of which ten working at senior level internationally. While he is passionate about the value of face to face learning, Edward believes that a blended learning approach, making full use of the internet and online learning platforms, is the way to make education more effective, inclusive and sustainable. One of his main goals is to create powerful learning networks that continue to learn and grow beyond the life of a course or programme.

Rebecca Nestor

Rebecca holds a first degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from the Open University. She is a member of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She is accredited to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Team Management Profile, as well as being a Designated Trainer for the Surefoot Effect’s Carbon Conversations, a powerful learning process on sustainable behaviour change in workplaces and communities. In September 2014 she began a two year Masters programme at the Tavistock and Portman Foundation NHS Trust on Consulting and Leading in Organisations: Psychodynamic and Systemic Approaches.


Our pricing structure is based on your organisation’s gross annual income. We also offer a 30% discount for NCVO members. Organisations with gross annual income of less than £30k can join for FREE.

Below £5 million£5 million or above
NCVO member£1,500.00£1,500.00
Non-NCVO member£2,145.00£2,145.00
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