Small charities urged to form ‘strategic alliances’ in order to survive

An umbrella charity organisation has urged small charities to form strategic alliances in order to survive closure.

According to the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), one in ten small UK charities described their chances of closure as “likely” in the next year. The main reasons cited included a decline in funds (reported by 26 per cent of respondents) and a rise in workload (32 per cent).

However, the FSI suggests that through collaboration, small charities can deliver more services while spending less time delivering them. The report, Collaboration: more than the sum of the parts, found that 89 per cent of charities that were in a strategic partnership spent less or an equal amount of time to deliver the same proportion of services.

However, the FSI found that only 10 per cent of small charities are collaborating with other charities to any significant degree. The majority may be meeting with other charities but they are not converting discussion into action.

Pauline Broomhead, chief executive at the FSI warned that small charities are missing out. She said: “The results from the research indicate, quite strongly, that small charities don’t collaborate enough in any meaningful way.

Ms Broomhead added that vital opportunities could be missed by wasting time with “superficial partnerships that don’t add any real and lasting value” to the services that small charities deliver.

Ken Maggs, Partner and Head of Charities at Moore Thompson, said: “The idea of charities working together for the common good has already been successfully adopted here in Lincolnshire by the South Holland Trustees Forum. Its ethos is centred upon trustees helping trustees and we have organised a number of very successful joint events which have benefited a number of small, local charities.”

Moore Thompson can help charities identify and manage concerns regarding their financial sustainability. For advice or to find out more about the South Holland Trustees Forum, please contact us.