Wednesday 28 January 2009

Mergers or Alliances and a quiz...

In a couple of recent Blogs I have been writing about the need for third sector organisations to consider merger , partnership arrangements or alliances. I thought it was worth highlighting one rather brilliant example that one of my members , Paul Jenkins of the charity " Rethink" sent me on Monday .

Rethink and MIND are leading a " Time to Change " programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination . This is a 4 year , £18 million programme funded by the Lottery and Comic Relief. the public phase of this was launched this week and it includes television ads which you may have seen . There will be more publicity with press and poster campaigns featuring celebrities and individuals who have experience of mental illness . the aim is to change people's attitudes to mental health which can have such a devastating impact on people and families.

And what is impressive is the big thinking. Over 4 years these 2 charities aim to reach 30 million people . And as Paul says these are 2 charities , whilst working in the same field of mental health have not had a history of co-operation . So it does demonstrate the opportunities , short of mergers , where charities can work together. I am going to collect other such examples from members , but if you have any , let me know.....

That IMF report . Depressing. Can we now be in any doubt that we had better be planning for a serious recession . And can we now see the Government taking the sector seriously in tackling the problems and helping lead recovery . With unemployment heading for 3 million , We need a job creation scheme that puts the sector at the forefront of creating jobs targeted on communities that are most at risk , and in industries , like sustainability , where the sector can play a leadership role . And if unemployment is heading up ,then serious , full tine volunteering that upskills must also be backed and resourced.

And we need attention focused on the social impact of recession . I understand that the banks need rescuing , that the car industry needs support . Yet still our sector , facing declining income and rising demand , awaits any real response . The Action Plan needs to be bold . I am meeting with my colleagues from the Institute of Fundraising , Charity Finance Directors group and ncvo tomorrow to talk further about how we work together on the key concerns.

Now its not all gloom ! ACEVO has been in party mood . On Monday we had drinks for staff with our departing Chair John Low , and tonight drinks with staff for our new Chair , Lesley -Anne Alexander . We had a half day induction session for Lesley-Anne to run through the business of acevo . I have to admit to a real sense of pride in the staff who were presenting ; confident and energetic , as Lesley-Anne put it. ACEVO has only 35 staff but you would assume many more . Indeed our output mirrors that of organisations treble our size. And we do that by ensuring the best and the brightest work at ACEVO. Its a fun place. And dynamic . Perhaps I may be the best known member of the staff , but the fact is we have a truly talented bunch at work behind the scenes. The work they have been putting into developing our response to the recession and plans to build support for members is inspiring . They deserve a drink .

And finally ; I have been writing an article for the Institute of Philanthropy on my favourite 3 books . So a prize of an autographed Bubb book for the first person to guess what these 3 books are....


Peter @ BIG said...

Hi Stephen. As readers of my blog on will know, the Big Lottery Fund is proud to be investing £16m in Time To Change. There are many other excellent examples of the Big Lottery Fund using its money as a way of encouraging organisations to come together in common cause to achieve something special.

One favourite of mine would certainly be Routes Out Of Prison, a partnership in Scotland between the Wise Group and Apex Trust which supports ex-offenders as life coaches to young lads as they prepare to come out of prison and once they are released. Both organisations had great but somewhat parallel thoughts in this territory - our brokerage brought them together.

A second would be Food For Life (also one of Prince Charles's current BIG favourites.) Here we brought together partners that include the Soil Association, Garden Organic, and the Health Education Trust in a campaign that helps young people understand every dimension on food culture, from planting, cultivation, healthy eating and recycling. Once again the partners tell me that helping them connect with one another to deliver a more integrated message was one of the best things we did.

I'm sceptical of partnership for its own sake but planned well you can certainly achieve transformational change that might not otherwise be possible.

Anonymous said...

I'll have a stab.

Brisdeshead Revisited, Waugh
All on the Irish Shore, Somerville
Four Quartets, Eliot

Sir Stephen Bubb said...

yes you are right . partnership for the sake of it will not work . And you are right bto popint out the Lottery's good record on investing in capacity in the sector . The Lottery has often been ahead of the game amongst funders. For example you were one of the first to recognise the need to apply Full Cost recovery . The Tiime to Change programme is a good example of innovative funding practise. Keep it up is my message.

Now as for anon . Well ,congrats on getting 2 of them. I did think of a Somerville and Ross , but decided that was a bit narcissistic ( surely not ! ) as Edith Somerville was my 3rd cousin . So there You can just tell the literary genes from my Blog cant you!! SO there is still one to go!

Anonymous said...

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