Bond is 25: Shout-outs from the sector

We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this week. We were founded in June 1993 by a group of NGOs to increase the impact of UK-based development organisations.

Since then we’ve been a voice for the sector, coordinating influential sector campaigns, uniting organisations for greater impact and promoting international development to government. Memorable moments include Make Poverty History, where 200,000 people marched in Edinburgh and called on G8 leaders to take action to relieve poverty, the Put People First campaign in 2009 and the successful campaign to have the 0.7% aid spending target enshrined in law.

We’ve spent 25 years strengthening and championing the sector to make international development more efficient and effective. We have developed the skills of people in the sector, shared expertise, and helped build organisational capacity and partnerships. Over the years, thousands of NGO professionals have attended our training courses and the Bond Annual Conference is now one of the biggest international development events in the world.

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In 1993 we had 61 members. Now we have over 400 and we continue to develop new ways of supporting the sector, such as our online training courses, encouraging organisations to rethink their business models and our work on safeguarding. Our working groups bring together professionals from across the sector to share learning and take joint action in key policy areas.

Thank you to all our members and supporters over the past quarter of a century. We look forward to continuing to work with you all.

Your #Bond25Birthday wishes

Over the last 25 years Bond has played a hugely important role in uniting and supporting the vast and diverse network of aid development organisations in the UK. A vibrant and effective civil society sector is vital in the fight against global poverty, inequality and injustice, and Bond has played a significant role in building and supporting the growth of UK civil society. DFID is proud of its long standing and successful partnership with Bond and we look forward to continuing to work together in our shared ambition and commitment to helping the world’s poorest and achieving the Global Goals.

Penny Mordaunt, secretary of state for international development

The more uncertain the world around us, the more important it is to have strong networks through which to understand, learn and continue to influence that world. So Bond is even more crucial to its members now than it always has been.

Richard Bennett, general secretary of Bond 1996-2007

It’s great 25 years later to see the continued growth of Bond and that many of the themes from the early years are still important for the sector, from maintaining public support for our work, defending the role of the civil society, and for continuing support for the poorest.

Jenny Borden, former chair of Bond

From our early days with 30 members and 2 staff, it has been a real inspiration to see how BOND has grown and developed over the years to become one of the leading national platforms for international NGOs in the world, and an influential voice in UK development policy and practice.

Ken Caldwell, founding chair of Bond

It is almost unbelievable that so much time has passed since Bond was set up. What is further incredible is the strength and reach of Bond’s influence in government and beyond. The organisation has been a good spur to action and I hope this will continue with new energy for the years ahead.

Baroness Chalker, minister for overseas development and Africa 1989-1997

Bond’s strong values, spirit of shared purpose, and innovative programmes have strengthened our sector in a time of profound change and have also been inspiring to us in our work.

Tom Dente, CEO of Humentum

When the Sustainable Development Goals were being negotiated we were more effective in our advocacy and engagement because we had a coordinated set of messages and advocacy priorities. Bond provides a platform for different organisations to collaborate and scale up their influence.

Ruth Fuller, co-chair of the Bond SDGs group

I have been involved in Bond for almost 20 years, including five hugely privileged years as chair. It has been such a pleasure seeing Bond go from strength to strength and play an increasingly valuable role in the sector. If we really are going to continue making the difference we need to make for millions of people around the world, we need a strong, bold and proactive Bond more than ever.

Richard Hawkes, former chair of Bond and current chief executive of The British Asian Trust

The focus on sharing good practice and dealing with critical issues such as safeguarding, transparency and accountability in an open and transparent manner supports members large and small to connect with each other and share learning.

Jehangir Malik, CEO of Muslim Aid

I remember what it was like before Bond existed when it was only the biggest NGOs that had a route to talk to government and we struggled to come together to learn from each other. Over the last 25 years, Bond has helped the sector transform itself and supported the huge achievements of international development in the last two decades. From the 2005 “Make Poverty History” campaign to the high standards of impact measurement that we strive to achieve, Bond has supported and challenged the sector, enabling big and small members to work together to change the world for the better.

Caroline Nursey, current chair of Bond and executive director of BBC Media Action

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