This month, two major children’s charities announced they are joining forces. While both charities will maintain their individual brand and identity, it is hoped the move will help both charities to make a strong impact on society. Just for Kids Law, which provides advocacy support and legal representation for children, and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), a membership organisation that campaigns for children’s rights, will harness each other’s strengths and pool financial resources.
In the wake of the high-profile closure of children’s charities Kids Company and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, we caught up with Just for Kids Law Managing Director, Arnaud Vervoitte, to find out more about the collaboration, and what advice he has for charities vulnerable to funding shortages:
“Collaboration is crucial as organisations receive money from generous donors and it is best spent not duplicating work. When organisations share goals and ethos, which is the case for Just for Kids Law and CRAE, it seems that merging can save back office-costs while continuing to advance our aims. It was amazing to read all the supportive tweets when we announced that CRAE were merging into Just for Kids Law. People definitely saw it as 2 strong charities joining forces to strengthen the voice of children and young people. Reasons for closures are varied and complex’ – it would be hard to generalise – but of course collaboration and mergers can be part of a positive strategic agenda.”
“The perennial issue for charitable organisations is how to financially support the work, diversifying ways of generating income, so you are never beholden to one source. Some charitable organisations will receive small amounts of money from a large number of sources and others may receive large amounts from a small number of sources, it is important to listen to those sources to hear the things that they like or that could be improved. We believe working in partnership offers a more efficient yet hopefully stronger voice. We consulted with many of those who support us financially beforehand and they unanimously believed this to be true.”
“We have a good track record of recruiting from our volunteers. Volunteering can be a good way of getting your foot on the ladder. The work can be demanding and it is not the most highly paid sector, however, seeing that the work you do can completely change a young person’s life makes it the most positive and rewarding experience. Working for a charity that has outstanding results and with such a great team makes all the hard work worth it.”
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