Hybridisation of charities

Hybrid organisations that lie at the boundaries of the public, voluntary and private sectors have evolved over recent years as a way of delivering public services. (See blurring boundaries)  These organisations (for example, trust schools) have developed as a way of giving greater flexibility and decision-making power to those both delivering and using services.  Most of the expansion of the VCS both in terms of income and numbers has been in this area, and growth in hybrid organisations looks set to continue.

What are the implications?

  • Confusion in public understanding of what constitutes the VCS, and a confusion of the relationship between the state and the VCS
  • Potential implications for trust if organisations are seen to be too close to the state or private sector organisations
  • Hybrid organisations often consider themselves to be in the public sector; they may not identify themselves with the VCS, and this could mean that they do not access support available
  • Possible tensions between the different branches of hybrid organisations, for example the public sector funders, or private sponsors, and delivery staff
  • Complexity for campaigners; how do you influence hybrid organisations?

Moving forward

If your organisation is campaigning in the local area, how do you identify who to influence and routes into particular organisations?

How do you ensure that those with different interests within your organisation work with shared ethics and towards a shared aim? What can you do to mitigate any tensions that rise?

With the growth of hybrid organisations, trust in these charities may be threatened because of low public understanding of the diverse range of organisations in the sector.  How can you ensure that your organisation maintains the trust of its staff, beneficiaries and the general public?

The presence of hybrid organisations in your community may lead to confusion amongst people as to whom and what your organisation is.  Are there ways to ensure people both within and outside your organisation are clear about your mission, aims and values?  What are these?

If your organisation offers support to hybrid organisations, how can you ensure that they know about what you offer and understand its relevance to them?

Are there ways you can work with hybrid organisations to maintain or improve their reputation amongst the public?

Want to know more?



Last updated at 15:08 Mon 18/May/09.


How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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