The Charity CEO Podcast


Sarah Vibert

CEO National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO): Culture change is not linear

“This is about structural issues in society and structural issues in the sector… Diversity and inclusion is a problem right across the sector… (and) the sector is about social justice and so there is an urgency for us as a sector to get this right.

Culture change is not a linear process… real culture change takes a long time… trust and healing is the very beginning of that sort of conversation.”

Sarah Vibert is the Interim Chief Executive of NCVO. Sarah stepped up to the role in January 2021, having previously been NCVO’s Director of Membership and Engagement.

Prior to joining NCVO, Sarah was Chief Executive of the umbrella charity, The Neurological Alliance. She has also served in senior management roles at Epilepsy Society and In Kind Direct, having started her career in local government management, including working for The Mayor of London.

Sarah is a Trustee of The Brain and Spine Foundation and volunteers for her son’s school PTA.


Ep 27. Sarah Vibert, CEO National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO):

Culture change is not linear

Sarah Vibert is the Interim CEO of NCVO, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

NCVO is a membership body that champions charities and volunteers. Its focus is supporting its member organisations and enabling their efforts to make the world a better place.

In the current context, NCVO is playing a key role in re-imagining the voluntary sector, collaborating with other infrastructure bodies and influencing government. NCVO is a founding member of The Civil Society Group, an informal group which aims at improving collaboration within the sector and streamlining engagement with government.

In February 2021, a leaked EDI Report revealed systemic issues around bullying, harassment and racism at NCVO. Having just stepped up to the CEO role the month before, Sarah talks about the journey she has taken her team and the organisation on, and the difficult process of rebuilding trust.

Sarah shares valuable lessons learned through leading this culture change.

Recorded September 2021.

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