Establishing a national coordinating body or umbrella organisation for non-profit organisations isn’t an easy task. It involves bringing together many disparate organisations that may, on the surface, have little in common – or that may be competitors. It requires members to agree on their common purposes and build trust in each other – which may be a time-consuming process.
And yet, establishing a coordinating body may bring many benefits, from giving members opportunities to learn from each other to lobbying the government with one voice in areas such as regulation of the sector.
This report draws on work from all over the world, notably original interviews with leaders of relatively established coordinating bodies, materials produced by coordinating bodies themselves based on experience, and the Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA) Resource Guide for National Associations. Although originally written for and funded by the King Khaled Foundation in Saudi Arabia, the advice here is applicable to any country and potentially to regions or specific sectors considering establishing an umbrella organisation.