Sarah Shillito, head of the Vodafone UK Foundation, said charities spent too much time competing for cash and they could better serve their beneficiaries by working together.
The foundation published a report last week on its £5m Reach grants initiative, which ran from 2004 to 2007 to fund projects supporting socially excluded young people. It focuses on the success of a collaboration between Shelter, YouthNet and the Samaritans.
Since the project ended, the foundation has decided to accept only bids submitted by more than one charity for its next funding phase.
"Communicating with vulnerable young people is an issue too complicated for any one service provider," said Shillito. "Collaboration is necessary.
"These were people who were used to competing with each other for cash. They shared information and nobody died. All three charities benefited."