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To think charities that provide the same services should merge.

(24 Posts)
PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 01-Dec-15 20:56:20

I have been on the sofa much of today due to being unwell and it full of charity adverts.

Many of them offer the same service but different organisation.

Wouldn't it be more cost effective if these charities merged.

Sirzy Tue 01-Dec-15 20:58:13

Although I can see where you are coming from in practice for a lot it probably wouldn't work.

They probably have similar aims but different methods/audiences/intended outcomes etc.

OddSocksHighHeels Tue 01-Dec-15 21:01:42

Most charities don't offer the exact same services though even if they are similar. They might also go about things in different ways even if the end goal is the same. I've dealt with a few homeless charities at this point and only one has really worked for me despite the fact that, on the surface, they all offer the same thing.

RJnomore1 Tue 01-Dec-15 21:03:04

Nope the bigger they get the bigger and more complicated the organisation becomes and the more their running costs are usually. For that reason I only donate to small charities now.

SevenSeconds Tue 01-Dec-15 21:04:53

I think you have a point OP. I remember a bit in Michael J Fox's autobiography when he says the various Parkinson's charities sometimes seem to almost be in competition with each other rather than working towards a common goal. However I guess it would be difficult to implement in practice.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 01-Dec-15 21:06:56

What RJ said

QueenLaBeefah Tue 01-Dec-15 21:10:10

I think you have a point too.

Many charities seem to be competing with one another.

hobnobsaremyfave Tue 01-Dec-15 21:11:09

These days lots of charities do a lot of joint working
Or make bids for funding that one charity will provide a part of the service and another charity will provide the service where their expertise lies
E.g sight and hearing loss charities often work together , they retain their individual expertise but can double the coverage of the service they provide iyswim

hobnobsaremyfave Tue 01-Dec-15 21:12:38

Or several small charities will work together to provide a service so they can increase the area they can cover, using their local expertise to ensure thatbeachbarea gets the best service

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 01-Dec-15 21:14:41

I think the end result is the most important thing.

I think by combining the best parts of each charities then it will be better for the people or animals that need them.

There again the only business knowledge I have is my c gcse grade. Which was done 15 years ago

Blankiefan Tue 01-Dec-15 21:15:42

I agree. I once worked as a fundraising manager for one of the major children's charities. They provided very similar services to the other children's charities.

It was around the time that most of the cancer charities merged and I challenged about why this wasn't happening with childrens charities. Each is carrying the cost of a Board, appropriate oversight, accounting, head offices, etc.... Not to mention fundraises who spend their time competing with fundraises from the other children's charities for the same pound. My challenge was met with no constructive response at all. My view is that the status quo is driven by self interest.

BikeRunSki Tue 01-Dec-15 21:17:27

Help the Aged and Age Concern did merge a few years ago didn't they?

TheTigerIsOut Tue 01-Dec-15 21:31:23

I agree with you, too many charities doing the same thing have less funding each so their impact might be less.

I think the main problem are the charities set in memory of people who died (sorry) as they are often too small and far too specific to justify the high administrative costs. It would have more impact to support other stronger charities doing the same thing.

I have managed a fund for people that had a very peculiar disability and the funder wanted just to give grants to someone the same age, in the same hospital as their relative who died. We couldn't give a grant for several years because nobody qualified for it, while there were many people who could benefit from it greatly but weren't elegible to apply.

Another was a £400 grant that required a huge and very specialised selectiion process. By the time we considered the administrative and professional costs involved in selecting a recipient, the £400 grant had costed the recipient institution several £1000s of pounds.

It was so bad that there were ocassions that when approached about creating an endowment, we often felt as saying "no thanks"

summerainbow Tue 01-Dec-15 22:15:28

Also there is lots of in fighting and different reasons why the charity was set up.
Children's charity get a lot of help from children in need.

TiredButFineODFOJ Tue 01-Dec-15 22:26:25

Some charities are now forming into groups so they have one "back office" and CEO, but their own board, identity etc.
Really if they could all be merged, they would basically be a big government department "department for charities" tied down to red tape on a grand scale.
Although if goverment provided these services we wouldn't need charities...

Littleallovertheshop Wed 02-Dec-15 15:07:29

I agree - the high number of cancer charities is frustrating and so often well deserving causes miss out to the more "attractive" causes. That said, at least cancers like pancreatic have a voice and are represented as is - if they all merged my fear would be that research into the less common cancers would decline even more.

Actually though, if done effectively it costs less to run a bigger charity - it's not about size, it's about efficiency. There also seems to be a belief that charities can be purely staffed by volunteers, unfortunately this is rarely the case.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 02-Dec-15 15:08:53

sooooooooooooooooo NOT BU, think the same thing as you

cleaty Wed 02-Dec-15 15:34:06

Yes there could be many more mergers of charities. Although sometimes charities don't merge for good reasons. Some charities even though they provide similar services, have very different values. So some will be charities run by the local "great and good". Others are run by people who the charity is set up to help. They often operate in very different ways in practice.

Chococroc Wed 02-Dec-15 15:37:31

In many cases you are right. There's something like 160000 charities in the UK, that is absolutely crazy and so many of them have such similar aims they'd be far better merging and therefore saving on back room costs. It's does need to be down carefully though to make sure charities don't become too big to be effective.

OliviaBenson Wed 02-Dec-15 15:54:58

I'm torn by this. For example, I support a local dog rescue centre which is a charity. I don't believe in the RSPCA due to a bad experience and as such if the RSPCA were the only charity to rehome dogs, this would be a huge backwards step and of huge concern.

But I do think that there is scope for some of the smaller charities to join.

cleaty Wed 02-Dec-15 16:00:20

A lot of the smaller charities have no staff and are run by volunteers on a shoe string. I am the Treasurer of a charity like this. There really are not backroom costs, and it works because those involved all work hard and are reasonable people. Many of us have been involved previously with small charities of volunteers where lots of time is taken up with meetings. If our charity merged with one of those type of small charities, most of us would drop out.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 02-Dec-15 16:04:56

The admin burden placed on small charities is much, much lower than larger ones. The levels of audit etc vary massively depending on income and turnover and also how the funds are obtained.

For this reason alone, many small charities prefer to stay small.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 02-Dec-15 16:09:14

Lots of those choc will be organisations such as pre-schools, pta's, local sports or social clubs.

They wouldn't want or need to team up with anyone else! Also, employer incentives (such as current £2k pa reduction in NI) are available for each separate organisation. So charities with fewer employees will benefit more than huge organisations iyswim.

OurBlanche Wed 02-Dec-15 16:11:05

I think by combining the best parts of each charities then it will be better for the people or animals that need them. but who decides which are the best bits?

I volunteer for a small, local charity, used to work for another one. Both remained small, very local, to respond quickly to local needs. Both link with other organisations, both charity and commercial, to provide wider, bigger solutions.

Whilst it seems obvious that admin costs and competing bids for money could be reduced if charities amalgamated, it is also true that services would lose there reactiveness and specificity.

Think about all the negative threads the RSPCA get around here. That could be the ultimate end for any amalgamation of charities.

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