Saturday, March 10, 2007

Collaboration is fine, but sector has little interest in mergers

Increasing numbers of charities believe they face competition in their particular ‘markets’ and are happy to work collaboratively with other charities, though merger is not on the cards for most.

This is according to accountancy firm Baker Tilly, which carried out surveys among charities attending a series of seminars in November and December last year. Of those charities questions, 52% believed they faced competition and 45% collaborated with other charities regularly. However, 85% said they had not merged with another charity in the past five years nor were considering a merger within the next five.

Nick Sladden, a partner at Baker Tilly, said: “Charities are clearly facing the threat of competition in their marketplace, either purely for fundraising or across all their services. Whilst charities are increasingly looking at collaborative working to ensure effectiveness, it would seem that they are loath to look at the potential benefits of mergers.”

This is despite the Charity Commission’s call (and subsequent publication of guidance) last June for charities to review how they could deliver a better service for their users, which included considering merger as an option. The Commission warned charities that with increasing pressure to deliver and limited resources available to the sector, collaboration, and potentially merger, between charities could improve service provision.

From Charity Times Newsalert 143


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