Guides on collaboration
NCVO has developed a range of good practice guide to support you with collaborative projects. From introductory guides, to models or types of collaborative working and more detailed paid for publications.
For the latest thinking on collaborative working head over to KnowHow NonProfit's iKnowHow collaboration wiki where we have moved all of the information from these free guides. You can edit existing content, add new information, case studies or FAQs – or just read through each guide.
Introductory guides to collaborative working
Collaborative working: partnership between voluntary organisations is a short introduction that covers the wider context and different types of collaborative working, as well as addressing the benefits and risks of joint working.
Should you collaborate? Key questions is a checklist to help organisations decide whether to embark on formal collaborative working or merger. It identifies the key issues which organisations need to consider, giving an idea where problems and complications might lie and enabling them to make informed decisions. The checklist is a useful first step for the managers and trustees of voluntary and community organisations and those advising them.
Download Should you collaborate? Key questions (PDF)
Joint working agreements provides information on developing formal written agreements for voluntary and community sector organisations choosing to work collaboratively. It identifies key areas to include in a joint working agreement, such as monitoring the partnership project, dispute resolution and communicating with partners.
Download Joint working agreements (PDF)
Staffing a collaborative project provides good practice guidance for voluntary and community organisations on staffing a collaborative project. It explores the benefits of different staffing models, addresses line management, reporting structures and other key points, and includes a range of case studies.
Download Staffing a collaborative project (PDF)
ICT tools to support collaborative working
ICT tools to support collaborative working identifies key areas where ICT may help your collaboration. ICT has great potential for enabling collaboration, especially for projects which involve multiple partners over large geographical distances. It examines a variety of ICT tools, looks at the benefits and pitfalls of each and is illustrated with case studies of voluntary and community sector experience of ICT.
Download ICT tools to support collaborative working (PDF)
Models of collaborative working
Working together to achieve your mission
Working together to achieve your mission outlines good practice for organisations working together on activities that directly contribute to their mission. It is relevant to every kind of organisation, from those providing services in a community to those concentrating on policy and campaigning. The model covers issues including funding and managing joint projects, internal communications and PR.
Download Working together to achieve your mission (PDF)
Sharing back office services
Sharing back office services looks at collaborating on the supporting functions that enable organisations to carry out their activities. They include premises, IT, HR, and finance services. The model outlines areas to consider before you start sharing services and describes advantages, disadvantages and tips.
Download Sharing back office services (PDF)
Joint working for public service delivery
Joint working for public service delivery describes how organisations can collaborate to deliver services usually provided by the state. The model focuses on the relationship between voluntary or community organisations and introduces areas they need to think about when jointly contracting with public bodies.
- Download Joint working for public service delivery (PDF)
- Download Structures for consortia delivery of public services (PDF)
National organisations with local groups
National organisations with local groups outlines how organisations with a national body and local groups can work together. They may be separate organisations together forming a federal structure or may legally all be part of one organisation with a branch structure. This model suggests how to maintain good relations between parts of the structure and explains the impact of organisational structure on key areas of work.
Download National organisations with local groups (PDF)
Merger lists some of the reasons that organisations merge and the different forms that merger can take. Its good practice guidance covers the decision to merge, the merger process and how organisations can lay the groundwork for the merged organisation.
Download Merger (PDF)
Collaborative working to generate income
Collaborative working to generate income introduces different ways of working with other organisations to generate income. Subjects covered include fundraising events, joint trading, payroll giving through consortia, appeals and legacy giving.
Download Collaborative working to generate income (PDF)
iKnowHow collaborative working
Want to write your own guide and share your experiences and insight on everything about working with other organisations - from formal mergers to sharing back office staff? KnowHow NonProfit's new wiki allows you can edit existing content, add new information or create your own new guides of case studies, how-to or FAQs.
Paid for publications
Due Diligence Demystified
Due Diligence Demystified gives clear and concise information on due diligence and how to carry it out in the most efficient and cost-effective way. It has been written for small to medium sized voluntary and community organisations to help them understand the due diligence process and what it involves. It provides a comprehensive checklist of the areas that are typically covered in a due diligence exercise; the documentation required and the main sources of information; and the key questions that need to be asked.
This publication is available for £15, or £10.50 to NCVO members.
Collaborative working to make more effective use of ICT
Collaborative working to make more effective use of ICT aims to inspire organisations to see collaboration as a potential solution to the ICT issues they face. The information explores areas where collaboration can offer a way of addressing ICT support needs, examines the pros and cons of each method, and introduces a range of case studies. This information, which was produced jointly by the Collaborative Working Unit and the ICT Hub, is available on the NCVO ICT Development Services website.
Campaigning in collaboration
Campaigning in Collaboration shares practical lessons drawn from the real experiences of a range of voluntary organisations campaigning together. It includes nine case studies of campaign collaborations, and key lessons about agreeing shared objectives, structures and decision making, and leaving a campaign legacy. This publication, which was produced jointly by the Collaborative Working Unit and Campaigning Effectiveness, is available for £15, or £10.50 to NCVO members.
Advice and support
- Funding and finance
- Coping with cuts
- Addressing needs
- Managing change
- Planning for the future
- Involving people
- Public Service Delivery
- Governance and leadership
- Compact Advocacy programme
- Campaigning and influencing policy
- Collaborative working
- ICT (information and communication technology)
- Climate change
- People, HR and employment