Almond Tree Strategic Consulting has supported Adviza Partnership to develop their funding strategy, win major contracts and project manage their implementation as well as supporting their governance.
We have supported Community360 (C360) since 2015; helping them develop their strategy, win funding, enhance their governance and complete two mergers with other charities.
C360 is a small to medium-sized community development charity delivering a diverse array of services and support in Colchester, Braintree, Maldon, the rest of Essex and beyond. This case study outlines how we helped C360 successfully complete two mergers with other Essex-based charities within 12 months.
C360 (then Colchester Community Voluntary Services - CCVS) first commissioned Almond Tree Strategic Consulting, through funding from the Lottery funded Big Assist programme, to review their governance arrangements, including the effectiveness of their governing document and Trustee board. Since completing that project we have been engaged to help C360 develop new strategies and plans, facilitate staff and Trustee away days, establish a trading subsidiary (Versatile and Inclusive Partnerships Limited), secure a large Lottery grant for the Essex Timebank project, build capacity amongst their partners and to guide them through 2 mergers.
The first merger was with Braintree and District Voluntary Development Agency (BDVSA, then CCVS's sister Council for Voluntary Service in neighbouring Braintree). We facilitated joint Trustee workshops to establish the objectives and preferred mechanism for the proposed merger, including identifying the pathways to resolution of all the critical issues and risks. While BDVSA was a much smaller charity, they were well established and respected in their district and the merger was very much proposed as a positive strategic development for both charities.
After the charities formally agreed to merge, we project managed the merger process, prepared/reviewed the necessary documentation (including transfer and novation agreements, governing documents and special resolutions) and prepared all submissions to Companies House and the Charity Commission (including to change the name of CCVS to Community360). The merger completed successfully on 31 March 2017 and C360 have since been able to expand and strengthen services in Braintree for the benefit of local residents and stakeholders.
Later in 2017, C360 were approached by Voluntary Sector Training (VST), another Essex-based charity providing training for other charities, with a view to merging, primarily to stabilise VST's finances. We managed a similar process to the BDVSA merger, albeit on a much faster timescale, leading to the merger completing on 31 August 2017, since when C360 have not only stabilised VST's financial position, they have grown and developed its services for the benefit of the voluntary sector across Essex.
We are delighted to have had a role to play in these success stories and to continue to support C360 on a wide range of governance, strategy and fundraising issues.
If you would like to talk to us further about the support we could offer your charity or social enterprise, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial telephone consultation.