If you want to help NCIA promote independent action in the voluntary and community sector, see if you can help with the activities listed below, or let us know your own ideas for what you want to do.
Collecting case studies through interviews
These could be in person or on the telephone, an occasional short interview or an intensive series of interviews on one subject. We need to gather people’s experiences about commissioning, cuts, funding, management practices in charities and community organisations, the work of activists and the work of people who support activists, good and bad. You can interview your own contacts or we can put you in touch with people we want to talk to.
We need people to write, help to write or provide research, ideas or examples for our policy statements and how to guides on, for example: how to oppose commissioning, guide for independent CVSs, independence guides for other specific kinds of organisation or action, local campaigning tips and anything else you think we should be covering.
Sharing your stories
Send us your case studies, stories, ideas or tips to put on the website, or let us interview you on the phone or in person about your experiences.
We are putting together a group of advisors who are happy to offer their expertise and solidarity to others who are dealing with a problem. You can let us know your expertise and we can refer people to you for advice by phone, email or face to face. This work will be occasional, depending on demand, and you can choose if it is in-depth and ongoing or shorter and more focused.
Publicising NCIA and its work on the web and social media
We need people to monitor, contribute to and stir up debate on web forums and comments pages of websites relevant to our work and ideas. We also need people to post stories to our own twitter and facebook accounts. You could be in charge of interacting systematically with specific websites or forums or you can post widely whenever you have time.
Rescue a word with our Brave new speak wiki
NCIA folk have noticed that the world of voluntary action has been bombarded by new language that is manipulative and misleading (‘big society’ anyone?). So we’re on a mission to liberate our words and phrases. Visit the Brave new speak wiki (it’s our version of Wikipedia) to contribute definitions of key words – just follow the instructions on the home page.
We want to develop a team of people who can go to anti-cuts and trade union events and events run by voluntary sector umbrella bodies, think tanks, campaign groups and academics. There are events in office hours, at evenings and at weekends. We can send you a list and you can choose what interests you, or you can find your own events and attend them on our behalf. Most of the events are free, but we may be able to cover small charges, or we can try to negotiate involvement as a speaker to have the fee waived. We just need you to take some NCIA flyers and distribute them, mention NCIA in discussions where possible, network widely (and wildly), and then send us a brief report back. This is for people who like to tell it as it is and don’t mind making a nuisance of themselves and being the only person in the room who says what everyone else is thinking.
Being an NCIA speaker at events
We are often asked for speakers to come along to events and put the NCIA position. This might involve doing a presentation, talking informally, being on a panel or facilitating a workshop. We can provide you with materials and help you plan what you’re going to say. You can also attend events with another speaker and observe them before you do it yourself.
Co-ordinating information sharing meetings
It would be helpful to have people who are willing to co-ordinate information exchange between the individuals doing some of the activities above, so they can share their experiences. This might mean managing an e-mail group or organising occasional get togethers in different geographical areas. We can pay for rooms and refreshments and provide an NCIA director or staff member to attend if required.
Admin and communications
We have some day-to-day work that we would always welcome extra help with. This could be done from home or from our office in Forest Gate, east London. It includes updating the database, sending out information to new subscribers, sending out occasional e-mails to different groups and booking meeting rooms.
We need organisational help for our quarterly assemblies: the more help we have the more ambitious we can be, particularly in how we record what happens at assemblies. We would also like to branch out into cultural events and perhaps a summer festival. We would like to see people in different parts of the country holding their own NCIA get-togethers, for discussion, solidarity or even training or action learning on topics of interest or concern. If you have your own ideas for events around NCIA themes, or want to help us organise ours, please get in touch.
Tell us how you want to work with us, whether it is occasionally or regularly, fairly independently or in close contact, by email or face to face. All we ask is that you keep us up to date with what you’re doing. We will try to provide whatever kind of support is most useful to you.
Most of us are working on an unpaid basis, or are able to contribute through the organisations we work for. Each person contributes what they can. NCIA will re-imburse your expenses and we may be able to cover travel outside your local area, room hire and refreshments for meetings.