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A perfect marriage

From the outside, there seems to be many good reasons for charities to merge. Nick Moore considers these reasons and what steps charities looking to tie the knot should take.

The Charity Commission register in May 2022 contained 168,877 main charities, plus another 15,078 linked charities – a total of 183,955. The general discourse across the sector has for many years been that this is far too many and that many charities would be more effective or efficient if they merged with others.

This view tends to be supported by a range of statements about confusing the public, duplication of effort, inhibiting potential economies of scale and expertise, dilution of funds, and difficulties recruiting trustees, volunteers and staff.

Without trying to analyse all these issues, I shall attempt to explore some of the factors relating to charity mergers, which may itself provide some clues regarding this seemingly inexorable high number of charities.

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