Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer dismiss call for merger

Case is compelling, says think tank New Philanthropy Capital

Two breast cancer charities have rejected calls in a report published today by think tank New Philanthropy Capital that they should strongly consider merging.

What Place for Mergers Between Charities? says there is a "compelling case" for mergers in five sectors: literacy programmes in schools, breast cancer research, mental health helplines, debt advice and grant-making trusts.

"There are too few mergers in the charity sector, in part because it's a taboo subject," said John Copps, senior research analyst at NPC and the author of the report. "The most important question is not what works best for the charity; it's what works best for all the people that charities intend to help."

The report says mergers save charities money, improve services and strengthen brands.

NPC argues that several high-profile mergers, such as the one between the NSPCC and ChildLine, have proved how effective mergers can be.

But Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, which are named as merger candidates in the report, dismissed the idea.

"There is absolutely no evidence that a merger will produce significant savings," said Pamela Goldberg, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign.

"Our individual evaluations indicate there is more potential to maximise fundraising opportunities across income streams such as corporate partnerships, individual donors and events by having two separate charities, rather than one.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, added: "Having merged with the UK Breast Cancer Coalition, we know that merging can bring real benefits to those affected by breast cancer.

"We regularly review whether our beneficiaries are best served by having two complementary breast cancer charities funding research. At present, the costs of merging would outweigh the benefits."

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