CollaborationNI - Could it help your organisation

CollaborationNI - Could it help your organisation

22 October 2014

CollaborationNI is a programme commissioned by the Building Change Trust and run by a consortium of NICVAStellar Leadership and CO3.

It was set up in 2011 to offer collaboration support to organisations within the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and since then they have helped over 850 groups to work together.

Using the motto ‘working together, stronger together’ the organisation provides free guidance to any local VCSE organisation, regardless of size, location or type of work.

The programme will help you to explore further any idea you might have for collaboration, identify a partner or develop an existing collaboration. 

Collaboration NI assists organisations to:

  • Develop or strengthen a network or alliance
  • Form a new group structure or umbrella body
  • Jointly influence and campaign
  • Share staff/resources/space
  • Share information or establish systems for cross-referral of beneficiaries
  • Jointly fundraise
  • Prepare/apply for consortia tendering
  • Jointly deliver services
  • Merge 

Putting plans in motion 

CollaborationNI begin their work with an action planning meeting, during which they will find out more about your project, your purpose and what you hope to achieve through a partnership.

The team will draw up a plan of action to get you on the path to achieving your desired outcomes, while also outlining what will be involved in a collaboration to make the process work.

They will also help your organisation to prepare for and manage change. 


If you aren’t sure of the next steps to take, CollaborationNI will help you to engage with boards and executive teams and discuss issues from a collective perspective.

Experience has shown the team that clients often require facilitation on difficult issues relating to collaboration including integrating and redesigning strategies, planning for shared services and working for cooperation, coordination or integration at service levels.

They are able to provide that direction and support. 

Keeping it legal

From the formation of informal alliances to the building of consortia, mergers and takeovers, legal support is available from CollaborationNI.

It will be tailored to the individual circumstances, with the aim not simply to produce the correct documents, but to keep the whole process moving along from stage to stage. 

This support can involve consultation sessions, help choosing the right legal structure and negotiation direction for drafting legal agreements.

If you are interested in finding out more about CollaborationNI, they host regular events designed to encourage collaborative working which are open to anyone from the VCSE sector.

Policy seminars, local government reform workshops, conferences and collaboration workshops all take place throughout the year. 

You can find out more by visiting:

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