Merger Feasibility

One Dance UK


We support organisations in the early phases of thinking about a merger. Since we started making grants towards mergers in 2012 we have awarded £381k of grants of which £80k were made in 2017.  Applicants need to be at, or close to, the preliminary stage of discussions with an identified potential merger partner (or partners). The maximum amount we will fund for merger planning costs is £15,000Merger support is only available to currently funded organisations (one or both of the parties).

What we will fund

Applications requesting funding for the following types of pre-merger feasibility work will be considered including:

  • consultation with staff/beneficiaries/members/other stakeholders
  • facilitation of discussions with the potential merger partner/s
  • governance, planning, financial, legal, HR or communications advice
  • formation of long-term, strategic collaborations with other organisations to enhance beneficiaries' outcomes.

This is not an exhaustive list and we will consider any reasonable request for work that helps to make the decision whether or not to merge easier.  If successful organisations require external assistance but do not have a particular consultant in mind, we may be able to help identify the most appropriate support.

The work of the merging organisations should match our funding priorities within our sectors; the arts, children and young people, environment, food, and social change. The Foundation's Exclusions still apply; if you come under any of these you will not be eligible for funding. You must also demonstrate that you have unrestricted reserves equivalent to at least three months’ running costs. This applies to all parties involved with the merger feasibility investigations.

Grants are made on a rolling basis and there are no deadlines.

Application process

You will need to include in your application information that addresses the following three questions. Will the potential merger:   

  1. be likely to improve policy and practice more widely or lead to wider benefits for the local, regional or national sector?
  2. have an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of merged services, whether that be in increased numbers of beneficiaries, improved methodologies, expanded networks, longer term sustainability or increased quality? 
  3. have an impact on the wider sector beyond the immediate interests of the two (or more) organisations?

Once the work is complete, organisations receiving a grant will need to send us a brief report detailing how the funds were used and the results achieved/decisions reached.  Further information on reporting requirements will be supplied at the time we make a grant. Please note that the aim of these grants is to get the right decision -- we will not regard a merger that does not go ahead as a failure. 

The Institute for Voluntary Action Research has published two reports: Story of a merger, and Merger as Strategy, that you may find useful. It is also worth reading the NPC report: Let’s talk mission and merger

Make an application

There is just a one stage process for merger feasibility applications. Please email your completed application to

Your application should include:

  • a completed application form: download the form in either a Word version or as a PDF
  • a three page outline of your proposal (on no more than six sides of A4, size 12 font) giving:
    • a brief summary of the merging organisations - mission & values – what do they have in common, and where do they differ, niche occupied in the sector locally, regionally or nationally
    • details of whether or not your organisation has successfully worked in partnership with the merger organisation/s before
    • the rationale  for considering merger:
      • how could it impact on policy and practice more widely, and affect the local, regional or national sector?
      • how could it impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of any merged services or work?
      • what are the negative impacts if the merger doesn’t go ahead?
    • a description of the stage the organisations have reached in the process
    • an outline budget indicating what the merger grant will be spent on

    Please also attach management accounts for both organisations

After you apply

We aim to acknowledge your application by email within a week of receiving it.

If we require any further information from you a Grants Manager will be in touch.

We expect to notify you of the decision within a month of receiving the application.