Tweet about this on Twitter Email this to someone Share on LinkedIn

Welcome to the Institute for Voluntary Action Research – IVAR. We are an independent charity that works closely with people and organisations striving for social change. From the very small that directly support the most vulnerable in their local communities, to those that work nationally – across the voluntary, public and funding sectors.


We use research to develop practical responses to the challenges faced and create opportunities for people to learn from our findings. This site is home to our bank of research and resources, providing insights that can help organisations adapt to change and make informed and confident decisions.

What's new

Recently published

Briefing papers:

Planning in uncertainty

Ben Cairns, Marguerite Hunter Blair - Chief Executive of Play Scotland, Eddie McConnell - Chief Executive of Down's Syndrome Scotland

How can organisations be agile faced with an unpredictable future? Could funders better support them on this journey? This briefing follows peer support sessions with Corra Foundation grantees, focused on Planning in uncertainty.


We are living more comfortably with risk, not allowing it to stop us doing something, just doing it differently.

report cover for towards more flexible funding.

Briefing papers:

Towards more flexible funding

Eliza Buckley, Liz Firth, Keeva Rooney

How voluntary organisations have survived - and in some cases even thrived - since the beginning of the pandemic.


If you have an ongoing relationship with a group, [trustees] find it easier to give them unrestricted grants. 


20 October 2021

Unrestricted funding: Where does it go and what difference does it make?

Hannah Hoare, Executive Director at The Blue Thread foundation

Hannah shares The Blue Thread foundation's approach to offering unrestricted funding.

read-more read more

Two women looking at a computer screen. Text: Questions from long-term leaders. Logos: Pears Foundation and Leading in uncertainty with IVAR.

19 October 2021

What does succession planning mean, and how can you become ‘successor ready’?

Annie Caffyn

This series explores questions that were raised by 12 long-term charity leaders in the regular peer support sessions convened by Pears Foundation and facilitated by IVAR. In this blog, we look at succession planning means and how you might become 'successor ready', especially during uncertainty.

read-more read more

Learn more about IVAR