We support organisations in the early phases of thinking about a merger with an identified potential merger partner (or partners). The maximum amount we will fund for merger planning costs is £15,000.
Please note that our merger support is only available to currently funded organisations (one or both of the parties).
You can learn more about what we will fund and the application process below.
- What we will fund
We will consider any reasonable request for work that helps to make the decision whether or not to merge easier. Work we have funded includes:
- Consultation with staff/beneficiaries/members/other stakeholders
- Facilitation of discussions with the potential merger partner/s
- Governance, planning, financial, legal, HR or communications advice
The work of the merging organisations should match our funding priorities. Esmée's Exclusions still apply; if you come under any of these you will not be eligible for funding. You must also have unrestricted reserves equivalent to at least three months’ running costs.
Grants are made on a rolling basis and there are no deadlines.
Organisations considering a merger may find it helpful to read the following publications:
- The Good Merger Guide and The Good Merger Index by Eastside Primetimers.
- Thinking about... Merger, during Covid-19 by IVAR is for senior staff and trustees of small and medium-sized voluntary organisations. It brings together the experiences of a wide variety of voluntary organisations and advisers that have contemplated or carried out merger.
- Applying for support
There is just a one stage process for merger feasibility applications. Please email your completed application to our Tools Manager, Shemain Wahab at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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) giving:
- a brief summary of the merging organisations - mission & values – what do they have in common, and where do they differ, 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:
- how could it impact on policy and practice more widely, and affect the local, regional or national sector?
- how could it impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of any merged services or work?
- what are the negative impacts if the merger doesn’t go ahead?
- a description of the stage the organisations have reached in the process.
- an outline budget indicating what the merger grant will be spent on.
- Please also attach management accounts for both organisations.
- After sending in your application:
We aim to acknowledge your application by email within a week of receiving it.
If we require any further information from you a Funding Manager will be in touch.
We expect to notify you of the decision within a month of receiving the application.
Once the work is complete, we'd like a brief report listing how the funds were used and what happened as a result. 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. It is also worth reading the NPC report: Let’s talk mission and merger.