Collaboration and partnership

Includes publications from Trust for London, IDeA and HACT...

London Funders' Publications
Believing in your community and green spaces
(2009) GrantScape and Church Urban Fund - funders collaborating

Health and Belief
(2009) A grants collaboration between London Catalyst and Church Urban Fund

External Publications

All Together Now- Whole Systems Commissioning for Councils and the Voluntary Sector
NLGN (April 2016)

Raising the scoring for social value in the commissioning process could have a profound effect on how local government works with its partners and on the outcomes it is able to deliver for citizens. 

Beyond Big Contracts: Commissioning public services for better outcomes
Dan Crowe, Tom Gash, Henry Kippin, January 2014
This report is the output of a joint project between Collaborate and the Institute for Government, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It aims to convey the experience of those organisations and workers most closely involved in delivering complex services, such as adult social care, mental health drug and alcohol rehabilitation and special educational needs. Among other findings, the report discusses how the Government's focus on payment by results (PbR) is hindering the social sector's ability to help the most vulnerable

Charities and social investment: work in progress briefing
Institute for Voluntary Action Research (January 2016)
This is a briefing on small and medium-sized charities’ experience of social investment, based on an initial review of existing literature and insights.

FSI, September 2016
More and more people are turning to small charities to solve some of the most difficult issues facing society today, whether that be the needs of children, young people or older people, whether that be homelessness, addiction, rehabilitation of offenders or the environment.  Whatever the problem many of the solutions are held in the collective knowledge and expertise of smaller charities.  It is therefore vitally important that small charities take the lead in sharing their knowledge and expertise.


This research looks at the different types (or levels) of collaboration.  708 charities responded to the research with 66% reporting some form of collaboration, leaving 34% undertaking no collaboration.

Collaborating for impact
Angela Kail and Rob Abercrombie, Impetus/NPC, 2013
An intelligent analysis for voluntary organisations of how to spot opportunities for and de-risk collaboration, which also includes some concise pages aimed at commissioners.

Collaboration in London
Community Link (2013)
This report, produced by Community Links, is based on research for community sector organisation Locality and explores the demand for collaborative working and facilitating the setting up on consortia.

Collaborative learning: a case study
Root Cause and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012
Learn faster and grow smarter is the sub-text of this US report on collaborative learning as an alternative to a merger.

Compact at work: Kensington and Chelsea
Compact Voice, 2012
A two page briefing describing the impact of the local Compact which the Borough has developed across public, private and voluntary sectors – one of the first to cover this span of sectors. The paper also describes how they are working with neighbouring boroughs to improve VCS relations. The Kensington and Chelsea Compact Implementation Group is helping to guarantee that services provided by the voluntary sector are sustainable, with relationships remaining strong despite the current challenges.

European foundations working together
GrantCraft, 2012
European foundations are very diverse – many in continental Europe combine grantmaking with running operational activities, for example, and different legal and tax regimes help shape very different national patterns of foundation development. Nonetheless, there is an increasing number of collaborative ventures between foundations and across national boundaries. This publication usefully examines some of these.

Funder Collaboration: a compelling and cautionary tale
Rick James (2013)
INTRAC have released a paper, Funder collaboration: a compelling and cautionary tale, on the basis of a two-year evaluation to look at a specific $13million collaboration between four foundations working together in Africa, looking at the worth and the practicalities of collaboration and identifying tips for foundations contemplating collaboration. Contact Rick James if you have any tips, benefits or costs to add from your experience.

Funder collaboration – Fear and Fashion
Independent evaluation of a major collaborative initiative to understand and devise practical responses to the problem of knife crime involving young people. Supported by five grantmaking foundations - The City Bridge Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity, Trust for London and The Wates Foundation - it funded four projects to deliver work with young people and the evaluation identifies some significant achievements. Summary also available.

Funder collaboratives: why and how funders work together
Insight from US foundation leaders on the advantages and challenges of funder collaboration, for funders and recipients. In depth analysis examines how to start joint ventures and make them succeed, using three examples of funder collaboration. The guide gives recommendations on building strong relationships, including how to structure collaboration to fit its purpose, and how to assess it to ensure its effectiveness.
The future of social good: How do we create social value in the future?
Big Lottery Fund (April 2016)
Big Lottery Fund hopes to facilitate a debate across the whole of society – communities, charities, social enterprises, businesses and the state – about how ‘doing good’ should evolve in the future. What does it mean for how we support people to build better communities, and improve their own lives and the lives of those around them? What is the role of charities, businesses, government and communities – and how should we all be working together?

Global Coalitions: An introduction to working in international civil society partnerships
The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, 2012
The Fund has published a resource for people working within civil society coalitions, or thinking of establishing such a coalition, and particularly for those working towards some distinct change in international policy or law. The report is also available in an interactive format, see here

Joining Forces; a good practice guide for corporate community partnerships
The City of London Corporation has launched a pioneering guide with practical advice on how the private and social sectors can work together to address social challenges. This toolkit argues the case for collaboration, highlights the steps of working in partnership and provides top tips and case studies to demonstrate best practice. It is designed for businesses and charities that do not have much experience or resource to work in partnership with other sectors. At a time when everyone is being asked to do more with less, collaboration is increasingly seen as a powerful way to innovate and create value. This guide, which is freely accessible online, can help organisations to put this into practice.

Needle-moving community collaboratives: a promising approach to addressing America's biggest challenges
Bridgespan, 2012
This study was conducted at the request of the White House Council for Community Solutions and finds that multi-stakeholder collaborations have achieved "needle-moving" change, share common operating principles and characteristics of success. The report identifies four common operating principles among successful collaborations as well as five key characteristics of success: having a shared vision and agenda; effective leadership and governance; alignment of resources, programmes, and advocacy; dedicated staff capacity and appropriate structure; and sufficient funding. 

New routes to better outcomes
IDeA (Improvement and Development Agency), 2009
The Partnerships team’s guide evaluating the delivery of public services through local partnerships. Part one looked at progress from 2004 since 2004 and made the case for further central government reform to consolidate the framework around Local Area Agreements (LAAs) and strengthened Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs).
Part two, a practitioners’ handbook, offers information on 20 different approaches and methodologies that were being used by local partnerships in the UK for achieving LAA targets and developing LSP capacity. The structures may have been discontinued but much of the practice and learning remain valuable.
Passionate Collaboration? Taking the Pulse of the UK Environmental Sector
Jon Cracknell, Florence Miller, and Harriet Williams (Nov 2013)
The report summarises the findings from a survey of chief executives of UK non-profit environmental groups.  140 chief executives responded to the survey, with many of the UK’s leading environmental groups involved.
HACT, 2011
A report summarising the experience of 12 partnerships between housing providers and established community anchors with many examples of creative outcomes and tips on what makes good partnerships blossom. 
Trust - the glue in effective collaborations
Julian Powe (2013)
Associate Consultant for CASS CE explores concepts around trust in collaborative working, offering five frames and five action areas to support leaders in developing and sustain the high levels of trust needed in such ventures. If you would like to discuss these themes further contact CCE.

Vital ingredients when collaboration and merger are on the menu
Tim Brogden, LVSC, 2013
Practical experience of mergers, group structure, partnerships and other kinds of collaboration and even a case study of an organisation that explored lots of options and decided to reinvent itself on its own. This is a valuable tool for any organisations looking positively at options to strengthen their service or for those that feel change is being foisted on them because of a resource crisis. Right through the report are examples of organisations improving their services for users, and securing a more sustainable future. A useful tool for funders, e.g. some of the case studies will throw light on why likely looking combinations may not result in a merger. 

When Bees Meet Trees- How large social sector organisations can help to scale social innovation
Owen Jarvis and Ruth Marvel, 2013
This report suggests that large charities and housing organisations can develop social innovation and improve their effectiveness by working to 'scale up' the innovations of smaller organisations and individuals.

ACEVO and the CBI, 2010
Report on third sector-private sector partnerships and at the factors which bring about effective leadership of such partnerships. It includes case studies.