More than a fifth of charities work collaboratively with others and one in 20 exist as the result of a merger in the past 10 years, according to Charity Commission research published this week.
The survey shows that the most common reasons for collaboration are sharing knowledge (59 per cent), joint service delivery (49 per cent) and sharing resources to increase efficiency (40 per cent).
Charities must decide what is in the best interests of their service users, says the introduction to the study called Collaborative Working and Mergers.
But the commission believes that all charities should consider seriously and imaginatively whether there are ways in which they could do more for their users by working together.
"Examples of good practice in this area range from shared helplines and combined grant administration and joint marketing, to partial or full mergers."
Details were first published in Third Sector on 9 April.