Supporting the voluntary sector

Pears Foundation gives unrestricted grants to some of the main infrastructure organisations that support and champion the UK voluntary sector.

Infrastructure organisations may be less visible to the public but at Pears we see them as the backbone of the sector, supporting and strengthening thousands of organisations and their leaders. We are proud to work with so many excellent examples.
Amy Braier,

Infrastructure organisations can add huge value to the sectors in which they operate. This is why we helped establish SID-Israel to build capacity for international development NGOs and why we support umbrella organisations such as the SEN Policy Research Forum.

Our partner organisations below all work to strengthen the UK voluntary sector by offering training and professional development; building peer networks; giving advice and support and providing leadership and advocacy.  Their research helps improve effectiveness and inform both their member organisations and wider society. They also create valuable spaces for organisations and individuals to reflect, learn and think together.

  • ACEVO (the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) supports civil society leaders by providing connections, advocacy and skills
  • The Association of Chairs provides resources and support for Chairs to help them lead their boards to deliver their organisations’ aims
  • Charity Finance Group provides resources, training and networking to help charities to improve their financial management and performance
  • The Cranfield Trust works with over a thousand volunteers from the commercial sector to provide pro bono business support for the third sector
  • IVAR, the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, strengthens the sector though its research, analysis and publications
  • NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteers by connecting, representing and supporting its member organisations
  • 360Giving supports organisations, including Pears Foundation, to publish their grants data in an open, standardised way and helps people to understand and use the data in order to support decision-making and learning across the charitable giving sector

Pears Foundation is also a member of the Association of Charitable Foundations and has supported the publication of its Foundation Giving Trends research since 2010. The Foundation Giving Trends series presents annual research and analysis on trends in the giving, spending, income and assets of philanthropically-funded foundations. It tracks the contribution of foundations to public benefit, while building transparency and an up-to-date evidence platform for practitioners, policymakers and researchers.

All of the above organisations have played a hugely important role during the Covid-19 pandemic, convening their sectors, providing much needed professional development opportunities and also acting as champions and advocates for the voluntary sector itself.