Voluntary sector research consultancy nfpSynergy bought by senior managers

The voluntary sector research consultancy nfpSynergy has been sold to two long-standing staff members for an undisclosed sum. 

Joe Saxton, who co-founded the firm in 2002, said he and his family had this week signed a deal to sell the company to co-directors Cian Murphy and Tim Harrison-Byrne. 

In a blog on the nfpSynergy website, Saxton said he was delighted with the sale because having worked with Harrison-Byrne and Murphy for the past 10 years, he knew he was leaving the business in safe hands. 

“I know that Tim and Cian have already done many great things for clients and the company, but they are also plotting more great things and they will be setting out their plans in a blog very shortly,” said Saxton. 

“So, I am sure the company will thrive in their hands and those of my many other brilliant colleagues.”

He said he was proud that nfpSynergy had published more than 150 free reports for charities during his time and helped to establish CharityComms by giving it free rent, salary support and funded events - help that was probably worth more than £100,000.

Saxton, who co-founded CharityComms, chaired the organisation between 2006 and 2013. 

He said nfpSynergy had also given free office space to the Association of Volunteer Managers and agreed to underwrite the cost of its first member of staff. 

Saxton said he would continue to work for nfpSynergy “for a year or two more” before stepping down entirely. 

His work for nfpSynergy is expected to reduce to allow him to have at least one day a week to focus on other projects but is likely to become more ad hoc until he leaves the company. 

“Having spent 20 years working on nfpSynergy, I am now thinking about what to do with the next 20 years," he said. 

“I should think my name is on two-thirds of the free reports we have written, and one of the reasons I wanted to sell is to give myself more time to write (and grow my skills in other newer media!).”

He said he would soon be starting work on a report about the future of fundraising, which would examine how charities could grow the income they raise.

Saxton, who was chair of the Institute of Fundraising between 2005 and 2008, said he would like to have more time to write fiction and take on more trusteeships and volunteer or non-executive roles.

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