Frequently Asked Questions


A new membership organisation to promote good management practice and to support and inform the professional development of managers in the Community and Voluntary sector in Nigeria.

An organisation that provides capacity building support to non-profit organisations in Nigeria – NGOs, Trusts and Foundations, the cultural sector and other civil society organisations. Managers being provided with opportunities for in-career development and up-skilling for their own gain, for the wider gain of the sector, and to the benefit of society as a whole.

Membership of IVSM demonstrates your commitment to professional development for your own gain, for the wider gain of the sector, and to the benefit of society as a whole.

It is evidence that you are part of a community of management practitioners receiving peer recognition and affirmation of your skills and experience.

It is a clear indication that you believe it is appropriate for the managers of community and voluntary organisations to set their own professional standards for practice and progression.

Membership entitles you to:

Receive IVSM publications, including our newsletter, Membership Services Directory and access to a wide range of online resources

Use letters denoting membership after your name, e.g. FIVSM for Fellows and AIVSM for Associates or SIVSM for Senior members

Receive invitations to conferences and seminars in a variety of locations

Access to the branch network and technical meetings that are open only to members

Access to negotiated discounts on professional development activities

Access to colleagues in the professional community as mentors

Access to networking opportunities

Membership will enable you enhance your professionalism.

IVSM is building a strong network of managers within the NGOs, community and voluntary sector, all committed to their professional development and to developing the potential of effective management to achieve organisational sustainability

Our commitment is that we will develop and deliver effective member services that our members, as managers, can value and use.

As a member you will benefit from:

Career Recognition… Membership gives you the tools to gain professional recognition and stay abreast of developments.

Career Development… Membership gives you access to services and benefits that will support you at every stage of your professional development: from post-nominal letters and career development tools, to the latest management information resources and networking opportunities.

Networking… Membership gives you access to peer support, shared ideas and current thinking – helping you shape the future of the sector. Membership also gives you opportunity to network with members of our international sister organisations across Europe and America.

Knowledge & Best Practice… Membership entitles you to receive online special reports to keep you at the cutting edge of management best practice.

Mentor Network… IVSM’s Mentor Network is your chance to connect with a more senior member to receive advice and guidance on real world issues challenging you as a professional manager.

Volunteer Database… Access to a pool of volunteers

Other FAQs

Here are 8 good reasons!

  1. Training – Up to 50% off Training Fees

As a Social Enterprise, we keep our charges as low as we can to make our training as accessible as possible, but these are further significantly reduced for members.

  1. Consultancy – Up to 5 Hours Free Consultancy Support

Though we offer free advice and support on a wide range of issues, many organisations require more in-depth consultancy support – for instance to develop a business plan, or write a funding bid. Our consultancy support is chargeable at an hourly rate, but members can get the first 5 hours free.

  1. Events – Reduced Rates for Attending Our Events

Most of our events are free to voluntary and community organisations. In cases where we do charge, this will always be at reduced rates for our members.

  1. Staying Up to Date

As a member you’ll be on our mailing list for the latest news and updates in your area of interest, local and international funding opportunities, invitations to events, etc. Being on our membership database also means (if you give your permission) that we can share information about your work with others who might have an interest in what you do.

  1. Raising Your Profile

Our quarterly newsletter, “The Third Sector” promises to have a huge, nationwide circulation.

We will be introducing a Members’ Page – giving members the opportunity to submit articles that profile their work and achievements free of charge.

  1. Joining with us to Create a Stronger Sector ‘Voice’

IVSM will be advocating for the interests of the Third Sector and canvassing the views of our members on important policy and strategic issues at both a local and national level, or with requests to participate in new research or consultation projects. Being a member gives you the opportunity to take part in this work and have your voice heard.

  1. Online Information – Member Services

We have plans to develop a member’s section within this website which would give free access for members to resources and publications, toolkits, standards policies and procedures, including those from our sister and partner organisation in Europe and north America..

  1. Best of All – Membership cost is graduated according to the size of your organisation!

For as little as N25,000 a year, you can join IVSM as a corporate member. It’s easy to do. Simply fill in our membership form online and make your payment, then we will send you all the information you need to make the most of being an IVSM member.


Fellow is the highest grade attainable and is by invitation. Only those who have contributed significantly to the sustainability of the voluntary sector through their Foundations and the most senior and experienced managers who have made a significant contribution to the sector and built their own organisational capacity and influence are eligible for this level. Fellows sit on IVSM’s Advisory Council. Fellows of the Institute are eligible to use the designatory letters FIVSM.


Senior membership is open to individuals who can demonstrate significant experience or contribution to professional management practice within the sector. You can also apply to become a senior if you have achieved a relevant higher Level qualification such as Masters or Doctorate Degrees and have experience at middle-management level. Senior Members of the Institute are eligible to use the designatory letters SIVSM.


General Membership is open to individuals who are employed in the sector where their duties involve entry-level management responsibilities including those that have been employed for up to 3 years in the sector where their duties involve middle-management responsibilities. You can also apply to become a member if you have a recognised Masters’ degree or equivalent or have completed 10 days of continuing professional development (CPD) in the past three years. Members are eligible to use the designatory letters MIVSM.


Associate membership is open to academics and professional consultants who work in the sector or teach related subjects. Associate members are eligible to use the designatory letters AIVSM.

If you are an existing member of the Institute and you achieve the necessary pre-requisites for a higher level of membership, you can upgrade from one membership level to another.

The membership upgrade fee is N5,000.

Your enhanced status is reflected through the issuing of a new membership certificate and by the use of your higher Institute post-nominal.

If you were previously a member of the Institute and this has lapsed, you are able to reinstate your membership level. The membership reinstatement fee is N10,000.

Membership is open to individual managers at any level of management (CEOs, Directors, CFOs etc.) and to those who aspire to a career in management within the VCS. Membership is also open to Trustees/Directors committed to the advancement of professional management knowledge for themselves, their management teams within their organisations, and within the sector as a whole.

Each application for membership of the Institute is considered individually and on merit. We welcome applications from first-line, middle and senior managers.

The application process is confidential and overseen by our Membership Standards Sub- Committee.

There are a number of routes into professional membership of IVSM, based on:

Previous experience and knowledge; or

Qualification achievement; or

Continuing professional development; or

Making an outstanding contribution to the sector

In addition IVSM welcomes applications from ASSOCIATE professionals (e.g. academic; consultants) and students.

Certain qualifying criteria currently apply to the different levels of membership. If you have any queries regarding eligibility for membership please contact the Membership Development Officer.

Regulation 1

IVSM is an Institute for its members and is self-sustaining on the basis of its members’ fee payments and income generated from training and other consulting activities. It is vital, therefore, that members pay their annual subscriptions when due and keep their membership up-to-date. Should a member experience a change in circumstance that makes continued payment difficult to maintain they should contact the Membership Development Officer for advice and options.

Regulation 2

As a member of a professional body such as IVSM, you are expected to make a commitment to ensure that the knowledge and skills you declared in order to qualify for membership are systematically maintained at a suitable level. A commitment to acquiring new knowledge, skills or competencies to equip you for the future is also expected of you.

This applies to members of all grades and is increasingly valued by employers. It is anticipated that, in time, membership of IVSM will become a ‘sector standard’ for employment/progression as a manager.

In order to maintain your membership, you are required to undertake a certain number of credits worth of CPD (continuing professional development) activity per year. The number of credits is directly linked to your level of membership.

IVSM calculates one CPD credit = one credit per hour of activity.

Individual Membership

An annual subscription of N7,500 per annum (2014) will apply with no hidden charges, joining fee or VAT.

Corporate Membership

There is a scaled charging system of annual subscription for corporate members – Depending on the benefits available to the member organisations:

SILVER Members – N25,000;

GOLD Members Organisations – N50,000;

PLATINUM Members – N100,000

You will be required to complete the Self-Assessment Mapping Tool together with a detailed application form and to supply a ‘portfolio of evidence’ (certified documentation supporting your application).

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