Mergers are on the agenda again in the not for profit sector according to Third Sector magazine. 

In this case it’s two big organisations who are looking to come together – but merging, or at least working in close partnerships –  is something organisations of all sizes should consider on a regular basis as part of their positioning strategy.

There is often a tendency to “go it alone” ploughing on irrespective of external factors in the Third Sector, especially in small to medium sized organisations where the managerial experience isn’t as extensive as it could be or where there is a strong “localist” feeling or identity which encourages too tight a focus on being self contained.

However this can lead to a situation where a number of small organisations end up working within an area on overlapping issues without co-ordination or co-operation. At one time this may have been sustainable, but in today’s economic climate this kind of competition cannot surely be justified.

A few months ago I helped set up a web site pooling a variety of resources around the issue of mergers and partnerships for the voluntary sector – Fusion Third Sector .

The site is designed to offer advice on the pros and cons of mergers and partnerships, and information to assist organisations wishing to explore them further or , indeed, go further.

Merging may seem a big step but no body should discount it and in my view every organisation should periodically look at its position and those of other organisations around it and at least consider the options for closer working relationships.