Charities Evaluation Services is to merge into the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in order to secure its future, it has been announced today.
CES has been seeking a merger partner to achieve the scale that it needs in order to be sustainable, as well as to provide it with additional reach into the voluntary sector.
CES invited a number of organisations to set out proposals for how they could “secure a strong future for their work” in February of this year. NCVO was selected as CES’s preferred partner and discussions between the two organisations began in July.
A spokesman from NCVO said: “CES’s high-quality services are an excellent fit with NCVO and we can provide the efficiencies of scale and reach into the voluntary sector which will allow them to continue to thrive.”
He added that NCVO believe that CES will be strengthened by the merger.
It is expected that CES will reach a settlement with its chief executive Sam Matthews, but that she will continue to support NCVO following the merger on a consultancy basis as her “expertise will be essential to NCVO”.
It is anticipated that one CES trustee will join the board at NCVO following the merger, although this is yet to be confirmed. An NCVO spokesman said that it expects CES’s City building to be sold and that CES staff would join NCVO in its offices in its Society Building near King's Cross.
According to the Charity Commission’s website, CES has 18 members of staff, while NCVO has 100.
Following the merger, the merged organisation will be called NCVO, although CES’s branding will also be kept for the time being. All of CES’s services and products will continue following its move into NCVO.
The organisations have stated that the merger follows the approval of a draft transfer of undertakings by NCVO’s board last week, and the approval from CES’s board which happened earlier this month. The two organisations are continuing to work on the final details of the arrangement.
Martyn Lewis (pictured), chair of NCVO, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide a secure future for CES’s outstanding work, including a home for its class-leading PQASSO quality standard. The importance of evaluation and impact measurement is ever-growing in the sector.
“Bringing CES on board will complement NCVO’s strengths in consultancy, research and governance. We want to be able to help our members by providing tools and expertise to support every aspect of their work.”
Sue Rossiter, chair of CES, said: “CES’s work focuses on helping charities to maximise their impact and efficiency. This work continues to be very important and well regarded, but as a small organisation we felt our activities would be much more sustainable if they were part of a bigger whole.
“NCVO’s position at the heart of the voluntary sector will help us to both reach and support more charities, and to develop new products and services to meet the changing needs of the sector.”
In the year 2012/13, NCVO had an income of £8.9m, while the most recent accounts for CES, for the year ending December 2012, show it to have had an income of £897,000.