Strategic Plan, 2012 - 2016

In 2012 The Wheel developed its current 5-year strategy, entitled Being the Change.

Download an Executive Summary of Being the Change (PDF | 2MB).

It identifies the following four strategic themes for the organisation:

Being the Change

 
  1. Building a truly fair and just society
  2. Recognising and valuing the community and voluntary sector
  3. Developing the community and voluntary sector
  4. Enhancing the effectiveness of The Wheel.

We have also identified eight strategic objectives across these four themes that will enable us to achieve our mission. You can learn more about these strategtic objectives in the themes section below.

A fair and just society can only be realised if the wider public and key stakeholders in all sectors are engaged in the process of developing a shared understanding of what such a society might look like...

OUR VISION

Our vision is of an Ireland where there is a shared idea of, and commitment to realising, a fair and just society; and where the role and contribution of the community and voluntary sector in doing this is valued and understood. 
 

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to increase the community and voluntary sector’s capacity and capability to play its part in achieving a fair and just society in Ireland.  
 
We do this by:
 
  • Representing the shared interests of community and voluntary organisations
  • Supporting these organisations to do their work
  • Promoting the importance of active citizenship as vital in making Ireland a better place to live.

OUR VALUES

  • We believe that a strong, vibrant, independent and autonomous community and voluntary sector is critically important for sustaining a fair and just society, and a healthy democracy.
  • We believe better social outcomes are achieved when people are involved in making decisions that affect them.
  • We believe that people being active participants in their communities is   good for community and good for individuals.
  • We believe that citizenship generally could be better understood to society’s benefit.
  • We believe that a healthy democracy results from a vigorous and positive interplay between representative and participative democratic processes and structures.
  • We believe that people have a right to come together and form groups and associations to energise  and support community life, and to be heard and respected when they speak.
  • We value volunteering and the vital role it plays in a healthy vibrant community.
  • We value the professionalism, skills, capabilities and dedication of people working in the community and voluntary sector.
  • We value the diversity of the community and voluntary sector and believe it is a strength.
  • We believe that a fair and just society is one where there is a commitment to social justice; a belief in the interdependence of lives and a sense of solidarity that comes from people acting together; a strong commitment to freedom, and a strong engagement with the values of harmony and balance with nature.

STRATEGIC THEMES

We have identified four strategic themes which will shape all aspects of our efforts over the next four years.

Click on a theme below to learn more.

In order to achieve any of the objectives in this plan, and to meet the needs of our members, The Wheel must have the necessary organisational capability and capacity to do so. We will ensure that we continuously enhance our effectiveness and efficiency in delivering on this plan. 
 

Objective 1Build an understanding of the importance of participating in community life and in public decision-making. 
How?The Wheel will articulate and promote a common understanding of the value and importance of people being active participants in their communities, what this entails and how we can continue to develop active communities in Ireland. We will promote civic participation in all aspects of Irish society, and in particular the principle of involving the public in the public decision-making process that affects their daily lives.
Objective 2Maximise public participation in the development of shared ideas of what a fair and just society is in Ireland.
How?
A fair and just society can only be realised if the wider public and key stakeholders in all sectors are engaged in the process of developing a shared understanding of what such a society might look like, as well as being committed to seeing it realised. 
The Wheel will work with others to help our members and the community and voluntary sector contribute to and shape this vision, providing and supporting effective and accessible forums for this kind of engagement as appropriate.
 

When we achieve these objectives, the following will happen:

Intermediate Outcomes:

 
  • Policy makers, funders, the public and community and voluntary organisations have increased recognition of the value of citizen participation in the decision-making that affects them. 
  • Policy makers, funders, the public and community and voluntary organisations recognise the value of active citizenship, especially as practised through community and voluntary organisations.
  • Policy makers, funders and the public are well informed on issues and possible solutions to achieve a fairer and just society and the role community and voluntary organisations play in achieving it.
  • The public, policy makers and community and voluntary organisations see the need for change.

Ultimate Outcomes:

 
  • There is shared public understanding of what contributes to a fair and just society and the role community and voluntary organisations play in achieving it.
  • The national policy agenda responds to and addresses the needs of citizens. 

Download an Executive Summary of Being the Change (PDF | 2MB).

Here we will work to ensure that the work done by community, voluntary and charitable organisations to improve people's lives is properly understood and appreciated by key stakeholders and decision-makers; that the legal, policy and operational environment is supportive of community and voluntary activity; that the community and voluntary sector is appropriately represented in discussions directly impacting it, and that the sector's independence and autonomy be recognised and respected.
 

Objective 3Maximise the effectiveness of  the community and voluntary sector’s voice so that the sector’s importance is recognised by the state, the political system and other sectors.  
How?In order for the community and voluntary sector to play its full part in improving Irish society for the better, it is critical that it be informed about and present at the centre of decision making processes that affect the sector and the communities that are served by it. The Wheel will be a strong voice for the shared interests of our members, and we will work collaboratively with others to ensure the strongest possible voice for the sector is presented on matters of concern to the state, the political system and other sectors.  

When we achieve these objectives, the following will happen:

Intermediate Outcomes:

 
  • Policy makers, funders, other sectors and the media recognise the value an independent and autonomous of the community and voluntary sector. 
  • Policy makers, funders, other sectors and the media are well-informed on issues and solutions affecting the sector and its beneficiaries, and possible solutions. 

Ultimate Outcomes:
 

  • The national policy agenda responds to and addresses the needs of the community and voluntary sector and the people they serve.
  • Funding agreements are determined by mutual agreement of outcomes.

Download an Executive Summary of Being the Change (PDF | 2MB).

We will seek to support community, voluntary and charitable organisations to be as effective as possible in their work to deliver positive, high-quality outcomes for the people and communities they serve. 

We will emphasise the importance of taking a collaborative approach to delivering best outcomes for people, the importance of developing and supporting leadership capability and the need to focus increasingly on showing the public the impact of their work.

We will advocate for the establishment of policies and supports to ensure effective governance and efficiency within the sector, enhancing the environment of professionalism in which the sector operates.

In addition, innovation - fresh thinking, bold experimentation, creativity - is crucial to delivering better outcomes. The Wheel will recognise, promote, enable and encourage innovation in the sector among both individuals and organisations, not only celebrating the innovation that already exists but continuously sparking new ideas to drive the sector toward excellence.
 

Objective 4Foster excellent leadership within the sector.
How?In order to ensure our sector and the organisations in it do the right things in the right way, we believe it is imperative that existing leaders be supported, and a new generation of leaders be attracted to, and developed within, the community and voluntary sector. For this to happen, the appropriate opportunities, supports, and resources need to be available. We commit to facilitating and driving this work.
Objective 5Promote quality and excellence in the community and voluntary sector to deliver better outcomes for people.
How?The development and implementation of high quality standards in everyday practice in organisations is crucial to the sustainability and progression of their work. The Wheel’s drive for quality will reinforce the move towards an increased emphasis on outcome-focused working within the sector and adherence to applicable standards Becoming more efficient means becoming more sustainable, which in turn enhances organisations' independence and autonomy.
Objective 6Maximise collaborative working in the sector.
How?We believe that better outcomes for the people and communities we serve will be achieved by more collaborative working between organisations and across the sector in general. We will develop and deliver solutions to promote and support this way of working.

When we achieve these objectives, the following will happen:

Intermediate Outcomes:

 
  • Leaders in community and voluntary organisations have improved competence and confidence to act.
  • Community, voluntary and charitable organisations gain and share ideas, knowledge and experience.
  • Community, voluntary and charitable organisations demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. 
  • Policies for delivering better outcomes for the people served by the community and voluntary sector are in place / improved within organisations.
  • Community, voluntary and charitable organisations are more sustainable.
  • People working in community, voluntary and charitable organisations have an increased awareness of outcomes-focused planning and measurement tools. 
  • Individuals and organisations will become increasingly innovative in how they get things done.
  • Collaborative working between community, voluntary and charitable organisations is mainstreamed, sustained and supported. 

Ultimate Outcomes:

 
  • Best practice in organisational leadership is mainstreamed. 
  • The national policy agenda responds to and addresses the needs of the community and voluntary sector and the people they serve. 
  • Best practice in delivering better outcomes for the people served by community and voluntary organisations is mainstreamed, sustained and supported. 

Download an Executive Summary of Being the Change (PDF | 2MB).

In order to achieve any of the objectives in this plan, and to meet the needs of our members, The Wheel must have the necessary organisational capability and capacity to do so. We will ensure that we continuously enhance our effectiveness and efficiency in delivering on this plan. 
 

Objective 7Ensure that The Wheel has the systems, structures, processes, procedures and resources to deliver on our strategic objectives.
How?In order for us to deliver on this strategy, we commit to ensuring that we have the necessary in-house procedures and resources to make the plan a reality. We will analyse our internal operations with a view to making sure that we are as efficient and effective as possible in our work.
Objective 8Ensure The Wheel involves, adds value, and is responsive to our members.
How?Our members are the lifeblood of our organisation. This objective will ensure that we remain relevant to our members’ needs, and that we address them thoroughly, effectively and in a timely manner.

When we achieve these objectives, the following will happen:

Intermediate Outcomes:

 
  • More cohesion and shared-working programmes among infrastructure bodies in the community and voluntary sector.

Ultimate Outcomes:

 
  • The community and voluntary sector has sufficient capacity and capability to effect positive social change. 

Internal Outcomes:

 
  • The Wheel is recognised as a key national advocate for the community
  • and voluntary sector.
  • The Wheel has influence.
  • The Wheel’s work is relevant to, and reflects, the voices of its members.
  • The Wheel’s work is strategic and informed by evidence.
  • The Wheel’s work is informed by best-practice
  • People are aware of The Wheel.
  • Collaborative working, both internally and externally, is the norm for The Wheel.
  • The Wheel’s work responds to and adds value to its members.
  • The Wheel is sustainable and viable as a membership organisation.

Download an Executive Summary of Being the Change (PDF | 2MB).