CollaborationNI has created a range of resources to inform and support your collaborative work. Our resources are divided into three categories:
Information on specific areas of collaborative working and best practice advice
Learning captured from real VCSE collaborative projects carried out in NI
Practical resources to help you assess and implement your collaborative work
This guidance is designed to assist VCSE organisations considering joint working arrangements to deliver public services. It highlights the importance of putting a collaboration agreement in place to outline how costs and responsibility will be shared.
A volatile financial environment and increasing operating expenses and demand for services are causing organisations to look at innovation and change. This guidance note explores ‘shared services’ and some of the processes, risks and benefits involved.
As commissioners demand more innovation and expertise in contracted services collaboration between organisations is an attractive option. This guidance explains the potential challenges of joint tendering and how organisations can best prepare to respond.
When considering merger or joint working, due diligence is the process of investigation organisations undertake to obtain a better picture of the other organisation(s) involved, including their assets, liabilities and any potential risks.
This guidance outlines the responsibilities of directors and trustees of VCSE organisations in relation to collaboration and provides useful information to ensure good governance oversight and appropriate board involvement in any collaborative process.
This guidance outlines the eight fundamental principles and duties of trustees of boards of VCSE organisations. Together these form the building blocks of good governance for collaboration.
This practical guidance is designed to assist organisations involved in, or considering, collaboration by providing an overview of the key issues that can influence collaborative working. Links to NI case studies are included to illustrate best practice.
When deciding whether to collaborate or merge all organisations must consider whether the employment legislation referred to as TUPE applies in relation to contracts of employment for their staff and, if so, what impact this will have on any process.
Fermanagh House is a social enterprise owned by the Fermanagh Trust. This case study gives an example of how VCSE organisations can come together to share space and by doing so access greater resources than any one organisation could on its own.
This case study outlines the process undertaken by two organisations that were working collaboratively on an informal basis to develop a more strategic collaborative commitment to best support their service users.
The Skainos Centre is a regeneration project providing shared space for community transformation and renewal. This case study examines the process, challenges and benefits of developing a large collaborative project for shared premises.
This case study outlines the process undertaken by the Confederation of Community Groups in the development and establishment of shared premises, Ballybot House and An Storás, which it leases to 19 voluntary and community organisations in Newry.
By sharing premises organisations can begin to share knowledge, deliver joint services and decrease duplication. Cara-Friend, The Rainbow Project and LASI (now HERE NI) tell their story of improving services by sharing premises.
The most successful collaborations are based around sound strategic reasons for working together. This case study shows how two organisations of different sizes can bring their assets together to improve services for shared beneficiaries.
Joint working can provide a more holistic service to beneficiaries. This case study provides an example of the process of planning and carrying out a project across organisational boundaries and some of the resulting challenges and benefits.
Before merging 16 separate societies were operating under the Abbeyfield brand, all providing similar services. It was decided that by merging these organisations could run more effectively. A case study of their merger is presented here.
This case study examines the formation of the Walled City Community Partnership. Organisations with a shared ethos, all facing financial challenges worked together to create shared premises, develop shared services and ensure their survival.
Shared space can be the catalyst for community building. The formation of Cultúrlann as a second Irish language school in Belfast grew into a space to promote Irish arts and culture and attracted the many organisations that now reside there.
More VCSE organisations are strengthening their offer to beneficiaries by working in partnership. This example highlights one organisation working with multiple partners to provide a broader range of services to beneficiaries than it could alone.
For a merger to succeed in the VCSE sector, finding a partner with a similar ethos and having a strong board leading and supporting the process are enormous assets. This case study presents the successful merger of two housing associations.
This case study examines how collaboration grew from a simple enquiry to address staff training needs. A shared ethos and strong relationship between CEOs resulted in innovative training for staff and service users and new business opportunities.
MACS, Include Youth and VOYPIC have all embraced the spirit of collaborative working. This case study presents an example of the investment of time and relationship building that may be required to form a collaborative project in the early stages.
Organisations which are effective at tendering invest heavily in preparation; they have many standard documents ready well in advance of the tender notice being issued. This 'readiness questionnaire' will help identify areas to action.
This checklist is a simple guide to typical questions each partner will need to ask when considering collaborative working.
This is a simple table for you and your partner organisations to list actions that need to be taken to develop or improve your approach to tendering, the timeline they will be completed within, and who in you collaboration will take the lead.
In order to ensure your organisation(s) are ready to jointly tender invest time now preparing. This template outlines the key areas you will need to have addressed in advance to have the best chance of success when submitting a joint tender bid.
This template action plan will allow you to list the actions your organisation will need to take to be prepared for collaborative working, who will be responsible for each action, and when each action will be completed by.
10 Feb 2016Collaboration
Top tips for collaborating are shared by a few of our 'Collaboration Champions'; sector leaders who know first hand the challenges and benefits of working in collaboration.