Charities Bill News: Mergers important to voluntary groups

The section of the draft Charities Bill that deals with mergers and collaborations will be of great importance to charities considering such moves, a survey of 224 charity representatives has found.

The research, by Pricewaterhousecoopers and law firm Nabarro Nathanson, showed that voluntary groups were increasingly recognising the benefits of sharing services and partnerships, and forming purchasing groups, as well as outright mergers.

A quarter of respondents had considered a merger in the past five years and two-thirds had been involved in some collaborative working project.

But the study also highlighted a reluctance to seek guidance from the Charity Commission and others about managing the change that is critical to merger success. While charities tended to seek advice on financial and legal issues, few sought support in areas such as culture change, change management and HR.

The Charities Bill aims to encourage and facilitate mergers and address potential dilemmas.

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