Advisory group to examine feasibility of mergers body

Voluntary-sector bodies are studying the feasibility of a unit to advise charities on mergers and collaborative working.

London charitable trust Bridge House Estates has given £11,000 to the study which will determine the level of demand for the proposed Collaborative Working Unit, the most effective way of providing information, and the likelihood of core funding for the service.

The idea is backed by several third-sector bodies including NCVO, ACEVO, the Charity Finance Directors' Group and the Charity Commission which have formed an advisory group.

The study will be completed by the autumn and the advisory group will then meet to discuss how to take the project forward.

NCVO advisory group member Jan Hatfield said: "The possible development of a Collaborative Working Unit will mean that all the information that already exists will be housed centrally, bringing significant gains to the sector as a whole."

If the unit is given the go-ahead, it will provide guidance and information on brokering partnerships, legal advice and promoting the concept of joint working.

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