Charity Commission urges more charity collaboration


New research from the Charity Commission has revealed that just 9% of charities have considered collaborating, forming a consortium or merging with other charities in response to the economic downturn.

Although charities with an income of £1m or more are more likely to have considered these issues, 77% have not.

This news comes as the Charity Commission publishes two new toolkits for charities on collaborative working and merging; Choosing to Collaborate and Making Mergers Work.

The toolkits provide charities with a clear framework within which to decide whether collaborative working or merging would help them and their beneficiaries.

They use practical tips and case studies to set out the risks, challenges and opportunities that collaborative working and mergers can bring.

Andrew Hind, Charity Commission chief executive, said: “It is vitally important, particularly at a time when economic uncertainty requires all organisations to work smarter, that charities think regularly and imaginatively about how they can do more for those they help.

"We’re urging every board of trustees to look creatively at ways of collaborating with others in order to make their funds work harder and to provide better value for their beneficiaries. Our new collaboration toolkit is designed to be a practical resource for trustees deciding how collaboration can work for them. Some charities may wish to go further and merge; for them, the mergers toolkit will be invaluable.”

The toolkits include checklists – part of the Commission’s Big Board Talk initiative – setting out the 20 questions trustees should ask themselves when considering collaborative working or mergers.

To see copies of Choosing Collaboration and Making Mergers Work, visit the Charity Commission’s website –

The Commission has also published new research on the work of its mergers unit, Charity Mergers: Experiences from the Charity Commission, which highlights the details of the merger process, including the benefits and barriers.

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