Charities have a strong track record of working together to improve their efficiency and support for good causes.
Often this involves voluntary organisations with the same goals and ambitions working together across fundraising, service delivery, lobbying and their organisation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has arguably accelerated the need of strong partnerships, with charities having to work harder and seek help from more of their colleagues across the sector to influence politicians and deliver meaningful change.
Another factor in partnership building has been Brexit, with charities increasingly coming together to tackle the policy and funding vacuums created by the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Here we look at some of the most interesting partnerships currently taking place within the charity sector.
The central thrust of the #NeverMoreNeeded voluntary sector coalition is to call on the government to inject urgent funding to avert charities closing amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This major partnership involves a raft of charities including UK Youth and Children England and charity sector umbrella groups including NCVO, Association of Charitable Foundations and Acevo.
#RightNow charities and volunteers are doing everything they can to support their communities. But demand is rising as reserves are dwindling. Government must create an Emergency Support Fund so charities can continue these crucial services. #NeverMoreNeeded pic.twitter.com/pkFXfcFphp— NCVO (@NCVO) February 17, 2021
Its recent campaigning has seen hundreds of charities use their social media accounts to encourage politicians to provide urgent funding.
Their campaigning has also included an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning that without extra funding for charities people “face a bleak future”.
Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Concerns around safeguarding in the international development sector in recent years have prompted five major charity funders to form a collaborative to ensure staff and beneficiaries are safe.
The founding organisations of the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative are Comic Relief, Oak Foundation, Porticus, The National Lottery Community Fund and the Global Fund for Children.
They are also looking for other trusts and foundations, funder networks, NGOs, researchers and government agencies to get involved.
Among its priorities is to develop training and research to support the charity sector in improving safeguarding processes and policies.
🚨 We are excited to announce the launch of the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative! 🚨— Global Fund for Children (@Global4Children) March 15, 2021
This initiative promotes collaboration, listening, and learning among funders to support and strengthen #safeguarding practices worldwide. https://t.co/t48YXcBvKS#SafeguardingCollaborative
Its mission is to “promote collaboration, listening and learning among funders and organisations to support and strengthen safeguarding practices globally”.
Charities Against Hate
Sadly, the majority of charity staff have witnessed hate online against beneficiaries and other staff.
To combat hate online as well as support, victims a coalition of more than 40 charities formed last year. Those involved include Barnardo’s, Mind, Parkinson’s UK, Help for Heroes and Stonewall.
Earlier this year the coalition stepped up its campaigning to call on social media companies to offer swifter access to support.
Stricter penalties and lifetime bans for hate online are among other proposals the coalition wants considered by policy makers.
The group has also developed a toolkit to help victims to lobby their local MPs to tackle hate online.
Health charities link up for vaccination roll out
A partnership of 16 charities that support people with underlying health conditions was formed earlier this year to support the roll out of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Their aim is to encourage their beneficiaries, who have conditions such as HIV, cancer, diabetes and asthma, to take up offers of vaccination.
Charities involved include the British Heart Foundation, Mencap and Diabetes UK.
Among their campaigning has been to offer reassurances of the safety of vaccination. This includes the AstraZeneca vaccine that had been suspended for a short period in Europe over fears around blood clotting.
Gift Aid Emergency Relief coalition
Hundreds of charities and umbrella bodies joined a coalition calling for a temporary increase in Gift Aid to help the sector deal with the financial challenges emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sector groups involved include Charities Aid Foundation and the Charity Finance Group. Charities promoting the campaign include Tiny Tickers, which aims to improve healthcare for babies with serious heart conditions.
We support the #GiftAidRelief campaign. Like many charities, our services are #NeverMoreNeeded by our beneficiaries. An increase in #GiftAid would really help. Find out more: https://t.co/JnaIM217Nz pic.twitter.com/I8AhHcT18K— Tiny Tickers Charity (@tinytickers) March 11, 2021
The group wants to see the level of Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation increased for two years. The move could increase charity sector income by £450m.
Cancer charities launch formal partnership
In February Teenage Cancer Trust, CLIC Sargent and Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust formed a formal partnership with the aim of boosting their campaigning and support for the young beneficiaries they support.
The aim is to improve efficiency through reducing duplication, increase their lobbying power and improve the reach of their distinct areas of support.
📣We’re so excited to announce our new partnership with @TeenageCancer Trust and @emctrust – together we’re stronger and can reach and support more children and young people affected by cancer #YoungLivesVsCancer #tyacancer https://t.co/XFTGQUJJnp— CLIC Sargent (@CLIC_Sargent) February 11, 2021
Teenage Cancer Trust brings specialist nursing care and emotional support to the partnership, while CLIC Sargent brings its expertise in social work. Meanwhile Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust offers a support to cancer survivors through sailing and other outdoor activities.
Children and Young People with Cancer Coalition
Teenage Cancer Trust, CLIC Sargent and Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust are among a coalition of 14 founding charities aimed at presenting a more effective voice in lobbying around issues related to the care of young people and children with cancer.
Others involved include Anthony Nolan and Together for Short Lives. The coalition launched three years ago with an open letter to government on areas where progress can be made on improving access to healthcare, including mental health support for families.
Mental health has moved up the agenda of politicians, employers and families alike amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote working, social isolation as well as substance and alcohol abuse have increased. Among the most affected are frontline professionals involved in caring for victims of the virus.
To help, a partnership of mental health charities, including Mind, Samaritans and Shout, was formed to launch Our Frontline.
This pools their distinct support, resources and advice to improve mental health help for frontline workers, including those working for charities.
Child Food Poverty Taskforce
Among the most successful charity lobbying campaigns in recent years has been the work of Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford and the Child Food Poverty Task Force.
This coalition of charities and food businesses has been calling on the government to #EndChildFoodPoverty, including ensuring disadvantaged children receive free school meals out of term times.
Backed with extensive campaigning across social media and Rashford’s high profile, the coalition has extended free school meals out of term time and increased the value of food vouchers.
However, its work continues as it looks to persuade the government to expand free school meals to all children where a parents or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefit.
Product Giving Alliance
Charities infrastructure bodies involved in urging businesses to donate goods and services have linked up amid the Covid-19 pandemic to create the Product Giving Alliance.
Those involved are Charity Digital, FareShare, In Kind Direct and International HealthPartners to urge firms to donate software, food and equipment to charities.
It aims to highlight the co-operate social responsibility, reputational and environmental benefits to businesses of donating to good causes.