Volunteering England will this month launch a £175,000 grants programme that encourages collaborative volunteering projects.
Grants of up to £6,000 will be made available for charities that work with partners to support an individual's volunteering project that addresses a local need. Charities that work alone will be able to access a maximum of £4,000.
"We recognise the benefits for agencies of working together in some areas of volunteering," said Ruth Johnson, the umbrella body's head of grants.
"So we are supporting collaboration where appropriate. But this is not an attempt to artificially force them to work together."
The fund will open for applications in January, and Johnson expects to be able to fund projects by mid-February.
The fund is financed by Volunteering England's £1.1m Home Office grant to promote Year of the Volunteer 2005 (Third Sector, 17 November). Individuals will also be asked to apply for grants of between £500 and £1,500. Further details will appear on the charity's website this month.