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.
Support for voluntary sector leaders and their funders
The outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK presents a shock that is without precedent for almost all of us. This page will be updated with the latest information about our efforts to support voluntary organisations and their funders at this time, and with links to past research that may be useful.
Small charities and social change
Advocacy, lobbying, campaigning and influencing are essential tools in the effort to tackle inequality and injustice. In our latest study, we explored how and why small charities are challenging, shaping and changing policy, practice and attitudes.
The power of face-to-face grant-making
Small grants in Hartlepool
In June 2019, staff and trustees from the Tudor Trust visited Hartlepool to test out a way of paring back bureaucracy and placing relationships and trust at the forefront of their grant-making.
Might some of the lessons learnt here contribute to the wider conversation on how applying for grants can be a more positive and straightforward experience for applicants?
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Principles for grant reporting
We’ve been working with funders and charities to develop a set of principles that make grant reporting a shared, more meaningful and mutually beneficial experience.
Free resources and support for health, care and VCSE professionals
Transforming Healthcare Together
09 April 2020
Covid-19: How funders can support grantees responding to the pressures of uncertainty
Six ideas and priorities highlighted by the leaders attending our first round of online peer support sessions for VCSE organisations.
05 April 2020
Covid-19: How funders can ease reporting requirements
Ben Cairns | IVAR and Gina Crane | Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Funders across the UK are busy adapting their processes to better support their grantees and the wider sector in the face of the spread and emerging impact of the coronavirus. We asked what immediate action they are taking to lighten the reporting load on grantees and be truly responsive.
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