Headlines: April 13th, 2005

New guidance has been published to help voluntary organisations to decide if they would benefit from collaboration with other groups. It has been drawn up to assist voluntary bodies in looking at a number of issues including staffing, finance and due diligence.”Should you collaborate” has been produced by the Collaborative Working Unit of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and is designed as a tool to help managers and trustees of voluntary and community organisations weigh the benefits of working more closely with other bodies.

The NCVO says the guidelines are a checklist of key issues that organisations should consider in making an informed decision on whether and how to collaborate. They outline the role of trustees, the importance of planning, communicating, and documenting how organisations might work together and pose questions about compatibility with potential partners, risk assessment and due diligence, public relations and financial considerations.

Kate Aldous, Manager of NCVO’s Collaborative Working Unit said the idea of joint working had become a become a big issue as more and more voluntary and community organisations recognised the benefits of working together. “It is not right for everyone, and making that decision can be daunting, especially when organisations lack information about how to get started,” she added.

The guidelines are available free to community and voluntary organisations from the NCVO help desk. NCVO has a membership of almost 4,000 voluntary organisations, ranging from large national bodies to community groups, volunteer bureaux, and development agencies working at a local level.