Competition is healthy and here to stay, says nfpSynergy report

It's Competition, But Not As We Know It says the sector must accept the new reality

Joe Saxton, co-founder, nfpSynergy
Joe Saxton, co-founder, nfpSynergy

Competition in the voluntary sector is here to stay, according to a new report from research consultancy nfpSynergy.

It’s Competition, But Not As We Know It says increased competition is good and "will ensure we get the charities we need".

It says:"Competition is forcing many charities to re-evaluate who they are and how they do their work. There are many good examples from the commercial world of how people have used competition to be more effective, to be a force for good.

"We can either accept this new reality and work out ways for our organisations to deliver a superior performance, or we can hope that the pressures will disappear and life will somehow return to a previous golden era."

It says the reasons for increased competition between charities in recent years include the economic downturn, which the report says will result in charities needing to reduce their dependency on statutory income, and social changes such as an increase in the number of women with significant disposable incomes.

The report says the fact that more people are making financial decisions as individuals has increased competition and "charities need to continue to watch demographic shifts closely".

The report's arguments contrast with those made last week by Andrew Hind, the former chief executive of the Charity Commission, who called for more collaboration in the sector.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy and one of the authors of the report, said Hind’s position was not realistic. He said that  charities should collaborate, but they would continue to compete for things such as donors and media space.


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