The charity sector is under pressure to prove its worth. Duplication, wasted resources and ‘too many charities’ are held up as reasons to question the efficacy of the sector. NPC sees collective action as a means of achieving greater impact—and mergers are an extension of this.
Mergers are too often viewed as a consequence of failure. The concept has become unfairly tainted. It’s time to change the narrative and talk about mergers as a tool for achieving more for causes. Charities frequently collaborate at a project level and understand that causes can be better served by working together, but rarely extend this further.
Responsible charity trustees and leaders should think about merger regularly. Leaders bold enough to use mergers and other sharing models, such as ‘white labelling’—when a charity provides services under another charity’s banner—or back-office sharing, tell us that these have helped them do more, better, and resulted in:
- Stronger action to address the cause through increased reach, better beneficiary ‘offer’, and stronger voice;
- Greater sustainability and stronger finances of charities serving the cause;
- Efficiency gains recycled into action.
We hope this research will make the range of possibilities that exist under the banner of ‘merger’ more widely known and open up conversation about how the sector can work together better, at all levels, for greater impact.
Our research has been supported by organisations contributing to case studies to illustrate key points.