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Competition and collaboration

NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation are working in partnership on a project focusing on competition and collaboration between organisations bidding for public service contracts. The project, Rebalancing the Relationship, was launched in March 2019.

Rebalancing the Relationship

The project partners are working together to explore how to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations.

Due to commissioning and bidding practices, as well as a move towards fewer, larger contracts, larger voluntary organisations are more likely to receive government funding. In 2015/16 voluntary organisations with incomes of £10m to £100m received the greatest amounts and proportions of income from government, with 84% of local government funding going to larger voluntary organisations. This has affected the sustainability of local voluntary sectors and raises concerns as to how voluntary organisations compete, collaborate and coexist.

We want a system that allows a range of voluntary organisations to deliver high quality services, enabling the distinctiveness of large and small voluntary organisations to flourish and play their part.

The project plans to look at the issues in the round and consider the wide range of factors that influence the way voluntary organisations behave, as well as the wider commissioning and funding environment affecting them. Although the project will consider the wider commissioning environment, we will focus on how organisations themselves can take action.

Project information

The following individuals will form a steering group to steer the direction of the project.

  • Polly Neate, CEO, Shelter
  • Mike Dixon, CEO, Addaction
  • Sue Bott, Deputy CEO, Disability Rights UK and representative of the Win Win Alliance
  • Julian Blake, Partner, Stone King
  • Priya Chopra, CEO, Saheli
  • Elaine Handley, CEO, North Derbyshire Alcohol Advice Service
  • Jake Ferguson, Hackney CVS

The group will be chaired by Karl Wilding, Director at NCVO, and Kate Welch, Trustee of ACEVO and Director of the Acumen Development Trust.

We will also convene an advisory group to draw on a broader range of perspectives and expertise. We have asked organisations to contact us if they are interested in being on the advisory group. 

The call for evidence closed on 24 July, but you can participate in the project by getting involved in events that will run until the autumn.

Call for evidence and research Spring/summer 2019
Launch of interim findings and workshops to develop recommendations Autumn 2019
Consultation on recommendations Winter 2019
Launch of recommendations and supporting resources Early 2020

Lloyds Bank Foundation are providing a grant of £85,700. NCVO will receive £62,000 and ACEVO will receive £24,000. NCVO will contribute £22,000 in kind.


Please check this page for information about future events.


Rebalancing the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations

Press Releases

New project aims to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations bidding for contracts

Stay in touch

If you want to stay up to date with the project and how you can participate in the research and engagement activities, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also follow us on twitter @NCVO @LBFEW @ACEVO #RebalancingTheRelationship.

Please see our privacy policy to see how we store your data. Data shared with NCVO will be shared with ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation where necessary for the running of this project. Any data we collect will only be kept for the life of the project. Please follow these links to access ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation’s privacy policies.





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