Stephen Cotterill: Collaboration is the key to growth

08 Feb 2017 Voices

Collaboration between charities when it comes to fundraising may not be easy, but it might just be worth a go.

Collaboration in the charity sector is a bit of a sticky wicket, particularly when it comes to fundraising. Some causes appear to have numerous organisations fighting their corner. Cancer is one. Refugees another. To the public this can seem both confusing and a waste of resources. For fundraisers it can mean a shrinking pool of supporters.

Official stats from the Charity Commission put the number of registered charities at 165,334 as of 31 December 2016, with combined income of £70.93bn. That’s a lot of money, yes, but that is also a lot of charities and figures show that the number is growing by around 400 a month, although not all of these will be fundraising organisations of course.

It is often mooted that it is too easy to set up a charity and that founders don’t properly research the market before launching. That may be the case, but people set up charities where they believe there is a need and they care very passionately about their particular niche cause. Often there is a personal connection.

As with the corporate world, competitors sometimes find that synergy and collaboration can bring benefits such as raising awareness or pooling funds. The coming together of ten cancer charities in a joint campaign for this month’s World Cancer Day could provide a valuable model for how organisations of all sizes can work together for mutual benefit. After all, they may have different research objectives or beneficiary services, but they all need the same thing: public support. The louder the combined voice, the more people will hear it... hopefully.

On a final note, we would just like to say farewell and thank you to former editor and commissioning editor Celina Ribeiro. She has been a valuable member of the fundraising community over the last eight years or so and her industry insight and editorial acumen has been integral to the success of the magazine. We will miss her and wish her all the best for her new life back home in Sydney.


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