Charities should “proactively” consider the benefits of mergers as they plan how to work most effectively after Covid-19, according to a report.
The civil society consultancy firm Eastside Primetimers, which makes the recommendation in its New Merger Index for 2019-20, said that the number of charity mergers in the last 18 months was “stable” compared to previous years, despite the impact of the pandemic.
However, there is some evidence that more small charities than usual merged their services between May and October last year, according to the report. The data includes organisations formally merging their work into a single charity, as well as when a charity became a subsidiary of another or was taken over entirely.
The analysis, drawn from Charity Commission information, charity documents and public statements, showed that there were 67 mergers between April 2019 and April 2020. This is broadly in line with figures from previous years. The largest merger saw over £61m in value transferred when Breast Cancer Now merged with Breast Cancer Care, the report said.
One in five charities mentioned Covid-19 as a factor in their decision to merge during this period, although no information was available on the motivation behind the majority of mergers. In its conclusion, the report said: “Proactive consideration of mergers (or other forms of collaboration) should be one of six pillars of any build back better agenda for the sector.”
If your charity is currently considering merging or any form of closer collaboration as an option, the Charities, Education & Social Enterprise team are always happy to arrange an initial conversation to see if we can help.