Introducing leadership in voluntary organisations provides an opportunity for people who work within voluntary organisations, as paid employees or staff, to develop energetic, practical and thoughtful leadership practice. The course explores this rich concept from a number of different perspectives but emphasises that any group of willing people is capable of energetic, collaborative leadership.


Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations helps learners to reflect on and develop collaborative leadership practices that make a difference. The idea of collaborative leadership has achieved prominence in recent times as a way of leading that engages with others, crosses boundaries, and recognises that that leaders and followers alike contribute to leadership. The course is aimed at people who work within voluntary organisations as paid staff or as volunteers, but it will also be useful for people who work regularly with voluntary organisations, such as public sector staff or politicians.


Open access voluntary sector courses from The Open University

The Open University offers other open access courses useful for staff and volunteers in voluntary organisations, and for those considering whether to engage with voluntary and community groups. Currently achieving a 98% satisfaction rate, they together provide a comprehensive introduction to the voluntary sector and the opportunities and challenges of engaging with the sector. 

Introducing the Voluntary Sector covers the context and features of voluntary and community organisations including: the structure and history of the UK Voluntary Sector; values and beliefs; funding issues; understanding stakeholders; power and empowerment; and the role of volunteering. The course is introduced by Baroness Martha Lane Fox, the OU’s Chancellor.

Working in the Voluntary Sector focuses on the practicalities of working or volunteering in voluntary and community organisations including: working with volunteers; marketing and communication; budgets; fundraising; taking part in meetings; working in teams and partnerships; and building resilience.  

Taking part in the Voluntary Sector was developed by the OU’s Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships (CICP) in partnership with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

CVSL is extending its portfolio of courses.  We would love to hear from you about the courses that might be useful to you, and we can work in partnership to develop your ideas.  Please contact the CVSL team at