The recent, rather bleak, Social Landscape survey from CAF paints a picture of charities struggling to survive in the current environment.
The line that really jumped out at me from that survey was that 10% had plans to merge with another organisation over the coming months.
Where do you go to find an organisation to merge with? I would imagine it's organisations you know and work with, and ones that you feel share your values. But this feels like quite an inefficient approach to finding the right fit. What if an organisation in a different sector was a better fit than those you work with on a day to day basis? What if the very fact that they share something with you means that they are in structural trouble as well?
In a recent interview for Pioneers Post, Imelda Redmond of 4Children talked of the things she learnt in closing down the charity. Number two on that list was to 'accept when it's better not to soldier on'. This puts you in a very vulnerable position as an organisation, and that again makes me wonder whether this leads to good decisions about who to merge with?
Catch 22 are showing how to work with other organisations, through partnerships like their recent one with Community Links. Can we collectively learn from this, and think of more ways to help those organisations that do need to partner or merge, make really good decisions about who to merge with?
I'd be interested in what role organisations like Renaisi can play in that problem.
One in ten has plans to merge with another organisation over the next 12 months.