"the currency of the new economy is trust"
Rachel Botsman Founder of Collaborative Lab

Working Together

Successful and resilient organisations do not work in isolation – they need a network of reliable and trusted relationships, both formal and informal, to help them thrive. Trust lies at the heart of good collaborations and at Achill Management we have a proven track record of developing that trust between organisations that leads to effective collaborative working, from informal relationship management to formal consortium building. Our approach to working together is built on three core strands – Consortium Working, Mergers and effective Corportate Social Responsibility.

Collaborative and consortium working

We have worked with a wide range of consortia some civil society based, others that include private public and civil society members. We can help with all aspects of consortium building including

  • Identifying potential consortium or collaborative partners
  • Due diligence
  • Developing Memorandum of Understanding
  • Establishing consortium structure – legal and technical requirements
  • Developing effective relationships within the consortium – building trust
  • Consortium business and development planning
  • Identifying economies of scale for shared back office provision and purchasing

As the lines between the sectors blur, with contracted out services, prime and sub-contracting arrangements and the growth of social business, thriving organisations will be those that see the value in developing a more collaborative approach to business. We specialize in cross sector working – bringing the not for profit, public and private sectors together to create a ‘sectorless’ approach.

We can help you map your way through the maze by helping you identify potential partners, develop effective prime and sub contracting relationships, and with all aspects of sectorless working by supporting better communication and understanding. Central to that is an understanding of how to use and develop a CSR approach that works for both the private and the civil society sector.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

CSR is characterised by shared values, greater cost efficiency through improved ways of working, sharing strengths and best practice. For civil society organisations it offers an opportunity to develop strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with private sector businesses that have a proactive approach to sharing ideas, innovations and better ways of working.

By developing strong working relationships with civil society and charity partners CSR provides a chance for businesses to not only meet their procurement targets, in such areas as local supply chains or environmental impact, but more importantly to engage effectively and in a more sustainable way with the local voluntary and community sector. Charities can benefit from greater access to volunteers, mentors, business expertise and support.

For a company CSR delivers a more engaged and committed workforce as it focuses on developing staff to excel in their roles and enhancing their overall quality of life: this delivers a ‘licence to operate’ for your organization. A ‘licence to operate’ in CSR terms simply means that you add to the wellbeing of your people, your communities and your wider stakeholders so that they want your organisation to succeed as much as you do! Easy to say, a little more difficult to do, but when achieved it is a powerful stimulator for growth and profitability.

Taking customer relationships from the purely transactional to a partnership whereby your organisation does not just provide goods or services but actually adds value to your customers’ brand is part of the CSR journey.

To find out more about your business or civil society organisation could get benefit from a CSR programme contact our CSR Guru Barry Collins on barry@achillmanagement.com


For some organisations collaboration leads to merger and the team at Achill Management are experts in all aspects of mergers within the civil society sector. We have developed a “Merger Success Toolkit” to guide and support merging organisations through the process from day one.

Our ‘Merger Success Toolkit’ includes

  • Examining the pros and cons of options for growth – organic growth, strategic acquisition or merger
  • Understanding the drivers for merger, the potential merger partners,methods of achieving merger and the potential benefits
  • Evaluating the results and agreeing a process, a partner and a timetable
  • Governance of the process – Board level decisions, operational delivery of merger process, setting milestones for review, budgeting for merger costs, accounting for merger
  • Board and management engagement and leadership – support for executive and non-executive teams throughout the process
  • Due Diligence reviews – legal financial and operational – and Due Diligence reporting
  • Staff and stakeholder engagement
  • Trustee meetings, legal requirements, documentation and decision making and recording
  • Compliance with external regulators e.g Charity Commission, Companies House
  • Staff and Union consultation regarding TUPE
  • Property and assets transfer or disposal
  • Dissolution and wind down of redundant organisations post merger
  • Strategic planning and staff development for the new organsiation
  • All aspects of branding and marketing the newly merged body

Case Study

Age UKs in Kent Consortium

Achill Management worked with 6 Age UKs in Kent, covering the whole county, over a period of 6 months to support the development, formation and early stage operation of this new consortium. Although all part of the Age UK wider brand the six charities were all very different in style, size and operational approach and had spent significant time discussing joint working without being able to form a coherent plan as to the way forward. By supporting the steering group of chief officers and working with their trustees, alongside representatives from the head office Achill Management was able to help the consortium members prioritise what was important and galvanized them into action. Find out more

Client Feedback

Oasis Women’s Refuge

"Amanda supported Kent Domestic Abuse Consortium with high level due diligence and the development of a Memorandum of Understanding. The input we had from her enabled us to think through the details of a partnership approach of this kind and also took away a task we had no experience of undertaking whilst we were tendering to provide shared contracts. It was invaluable and we are now delivering joint work."

Jigsaw Consortium- bringing together support for children and families

"Amanda’s intervention really helped to facilitate our early meetings and bring everyone together in a structured way to discuss what we wanted to achieve and what tools and systems we would need to get there. We all had enthusiasm and energy for working together, but I think we lacked some structure and a clear path forward before she was involved. Amanda brought really helpful experience from her work with other consortia."