Collaboration fears raised as charities adjust to Covid-19 recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted trust and cooperation between charities and with organisations in other sectors, a report has concluded.

However, the analysis warns that this boost in collaboration could be undermined as UK society recovers from the pandemic. It warns that this momentum towards strong partnerships could be lost as lockdown eases.

The research looked at collaboration involving communities in Buckinghamshire, Coventry and Sutton during the health crisis.

It found that levels of trust and collaboration increased between organisations in all areas.

This collaboration had been vital to communities successfully responding to the pandemic, including the setting up of neighbourhood and mutual aid groups.

The research, by New Philanthropy Capital, found that collaborations among charities and across sectors were set up swiftly and involved a strong sense of shared focus.

Less red tape and more information sharing were also characteristics of collaboration amid the pandemic.

There was also a “lowering of organisational boundaries”.

But the report warns that charities, funders and government are at a turning point in collaboration.

It says that this heightened trust and partnership working is under threat from a loss of momentum as UK society recovers from the pandemic. Skills and resources gaps as well as difficulties in adapting to changing needs are other challenges highlighted.

“We must decide how we keep up the momentum and maintain the trust that has developed between different organisations,” said NPC.

“Keep up the reduction in bureaucracy, while ensuring we take an orderly approach to decision-making, allowing proper consideration of longer-term aims and the meaningful co-design of solutions.

“We must also explore what additional support—structures, resources, tools—can help continued multi-agency working, and the role that funders and others can play in enabling this to take place.”

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