You may recall in May in a post about merging (which you can read here) that I reported that Help the Aged and Age Concern UK were looking into merging, well reports from The Independent state that Help the Aged and Age Concern have confirmed that they will be merging in April next year.
Trustees of each charity made the decision after receiving positive reports on the merger proposal and they are now looking to appoint a chief executive of the new, as yet unnamed organisation.
Jo Connell, chairman of Help the Aged said: “Older people, here in the UK and internationally, deserve the best and we believe the new charity will be precisely that. Our aim is to place age and ageing at the centre of public debate.”We believe the new charity will provide even better services and support for older people, be able to raise even more funds, have greater influence and be able to exert more pressure on policy makers.”
So why merge?
Well around the same time as my merger post I wrote that Self Help Africa was formed from a merger between two like-minded charities: UK charity Harvest Help and Irish charity Self Help Development International. At the time I contacted Self Help Africa and asked why they merged…..here is what George Jacob their Communications Officer told me:
Self Help Development Intl and Harvest Help were both quite small NGOs trying to tackle very big problems in Africa. We had a virtually identical ethos and approach – although Self Help has worked primarily by ‘direct implementation’ through a local (African) staff of around 300, while HH had undertaken their rural development programmes almost exclusively through local partner NGOs and CBOs.
When we first sat down to look at this proposition we identified the potential key benefits of merging as follows :
• Increase significantly the agency’s capacity to implement and support development programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Deliver ‘economy of scale’ and efficiencies to the administrative operations – in UK, Ireland, and in Africa
• Strengthen the leverage and influence that Self Help Africa can exert on policy, and decision makers in each country
• Increase the scope and potential for fund-raising, for media and marketing, and for profile raising opportunities in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
• Provide a platform for new funding opportunities from international philanthropy, the changing funding arrangements of the European Union, and the United States.
• Enable both agencies to bring their combined skills and complimentary experiences of 25 years of learning to a strong, dynamic, and forward thinking new organisation that is committed to expanding and developing its programmes activities and its influence, in the years ahead.
Looks like a great starting point check list for exploring a potential merger. In these tougher times I think organisations that can demonstrate efficiencies and a commitment to the end user of their organisation will thrive, and what better way to demonstrate that then by looking at whether or not your sole existence is in the best interest.