Community & Voluntary Sector Organisations

Description: The term Community and Voluntary Sector Organisations (CVSOs) is often used synonymously with the term third sector organisations. It describes a range of voluntary and community organisations (both registered charities and other organisations such as associations, self-help groups and community groups), social enterprises, mutuals and co-operatives, that are neither public sector nor private sector and may have a mix of paid and volunteer staff. Whilst individual organisations may refer to themselves as voluntary organisations, community groups or social enterprises, the lack of clear distinction between these categories provides a solid argument for collectively viewing them as a distinctive Third Sector.

A third sector organisation is defined as: A ‘value-driven’, independent, non-governmental body (which excludes local authorities and/or other public bodies) whose activities: (a) are carried on otherwise than for profit, and (b) directly or indirectly benefit the whole or any part of Wales (whether or not they also benefit any other area).

Each county in Wales has a County Voluntary Council or CVC, the main role of which is to provide advice and information to local voluntary and community groups on volunteering, funding sources and a wide range of other issues.

Alternative Terms: community anchor organisations, third sector organisations, voluntary and community sector organisations, community voluntary sector services, voluntary community service organisations, voluntary service enterprises, voluntary service organisations

Connected Terms: Asset mapping, buddy system, community assets, referral, signposting & active signposting, social prescribing pathway, statutory serviceswellbeing.

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