The impact of the pandemic has led to further calls for more joint working between charities, as seen in studies such as Rebalancing the Relationship and the Future Vision report. db associates are strong advocates for partnerships of all kinds between organisations - but also realists about what this means in practice.
From our experience, within the sector there is often an in-built assumption or fear that any kind of collaborative activity is a prelude to merger, whilst advocates from outside sometimes under-estimate the cultural and operational challenges involved.
There are a wide range of options in regard to partnership working, from the ad-hoc and short term to the permanent and formal. The Collaborative Map developed by La Pianta shows this spectrum in a helpful manner. There are also constructive ways of allowing the understandable cultural sensitivities and concerns to be aired.
db associates has experience of working with charities who want to explore opportunities for collaboration. This ranges from running the Virtual Hospice CEO Group, which serves as a network and idea generating forum, to those considering fundamental organisational change.
One recent project was to consider the potential income generation and marketing opportunities and challenges for two children’s hospices exploring a merger. Client confidentiality means that we cannot disclose the names. However, one of the CEO’s involved said, ‘David produced a very thorough report based on evidenced financial analysis and appreciation of the potential cultural and operational impact of a merger. His findings and recommendations were extremely beneficial in enabling us to consider future options.’
Whatever your objectives and approach to partnership working, using an experienced and independent and knowledgeable third party to support the process can be of great benefit. Please contact us if you want to talk further.