Mergers

One Dance UK

Introduction

We support organisations in the early phases of thinking about a merger. Since we started making grants towards mergers in 2012 we have awarded £328k of grants of which £84k were made in 2016.  Applicants need to be at, or close to, the preliminary stage of discussions with an identified potential merger partner (or partners).  The maximum amount we will fund for merger planning costs is £15,000.


What we will fund

Applications requesting funding for the following types of pre-merger feasibility work will be considered including:

  • consultation with staff/beneficiaries/members/other stakeholders
  • facilitation of discussions with the potential merger partner/s
  • governance, planning, financial, legal, HR or communications advice
  • formation of long-term, strategic collaborations with other organisations to enhance benficiaries' outcomes.

This is not an exhaustive list and we will consider any reasonable request for work that helps to make the decision whether or not to merge easier.  If successful organisations require external assistance but do not have a particular consultant in mind, we may be able to help identify the most appropriate support.

Our funding should not be used for the costs associated with a merger once a firm decision is made to proceed.  It is for organisations uncertain about what the decision might involve or those who need reassurance that a proposed merger makes sense.

The work of the merging organisations must fit within our five sectors; the arts, children and young people, environment, food, and social change. The Foundation's Exclusions still apply; if you come under any of these you will not be eligible for funding. You must also demonstrate that you have unrestricted reserves equivalent to at least three months’ running costs. This applies to all parties involved with the merger feasibility investigations.

Grants are made on a rolling basis and there are no deadlines.


Application process

You will need to include in your application information that addresses the following three questions. Will the potential merger:   

  1. be likely to improve policy and practice more widely or lead to wider benefits for the local, regional or national sector?
  2. have an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of merged services, whether that be in increased numbers of beneficiaries, improved methodologies, expanded networks, longer term sustainability or increased quality? 
  3. have an impact on the wider sector beyond the immediate interests of the two (or more) organisations?

Once the work is complete, organisations receiving a grant will need to send us a brief report detailing how the funds were used and the results achieved/decisions reached.   Further information on reporting requirements will be supplied at the time we make a grant.  Please note that the aim of these grants is to get the right decision -- we will not regard a merger that does not go ahead as a failure. 

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research has published two reports: Story of a merger, and Merger as Strategy, that you may find useful.


Make an application

Please email your completed application to info@esmeefairbairn.org.uk 

Your application should include:

  • a completed application form: download the form in either a Word version or as a PDF
  • a three page outline of your proposal (on no more than six sides of A4, size 12 font) using these headings:
    • a brief description of the merging organisations - history,  services, recent achievements, beneficiary, staff, volunteer and member numbers,  niche occupied in the sector locally, regionally or nationally
    • details of whether or not your organisation has successfully worked in partnership with the merger organisation/s before
    • the rationale  for considering merger - what benefits will it bring to a) the two (or more) organisation(s) and to b) the wider sector? Explain how the merger matches the three criteria listed above.
    • a description of the stage the organisations have reached in the process and what the needs are

Please also submit the following information as separate documents:

  • an outline budget indicating what needs funding and how much it is likely to cost
  • the most recent set of audited accounts for the merger organisations
  • up-to-date management accounts  for the merger organisations
  • CVs for the CEOs of the organisations involved
  • an overview of  the skills, experiences and qualifications that trustees and staff bring to the organisation to enable good governance
  • the constitution/s for any organisation/s involved in the proposed merger that are NOT registered charities.
  • a letter of support for the proposed merger feasibility work from the other organisation/s involved, signed by their chair and CEO

After you apply

We aim to acknowledge your application by email within a week of receiving it.

If we require any further information from you a Grants Manager will be in touch.

We expect to notify you of the decision within three months of receiving the application.