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Welcome to the ACO

The Association of Charitable Organisations is the national UK umbrella body for charities that give grants and welfare support to individuals in need. Founded in 1946 we are a powerful and growing network of over 100 members, all joined by the common goal of offering support to help people in need.

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What we do

ACO provides support to its members through:

  • Knowledge sharing and benchmarking: we encourage collaboration in the sector by supporting our members to work with each other to improve their services and improve best practice. 
  • Networking events: building peer networks and providing opportunities for members to share, and get advice and support. Running regular networking events throughout the year attended by expert speakers in the sector to encourage discussion on thought-provoking topics relevant in the sector. A free to attend quarterly members' meeting. 
  • Raising standards: promoting good practice, tackling problems together and offering solutions;
  • PR and Communications: sharing member news amongst the network on behalf of our members, and raising the profile of grant-making charities amongst the public with our One Day Changes Lives PR campaign - an awareness day on 16 October for benevolent funds. 
  • Lobbying and campaigning: giving our members a voice by responding to government consultations and raising awareness about the work of our member organisations. 
  • Information: providing members with up to date information tailored to their specific interests through a monthly newsletter and policy briefings.
  • Online services: such as websites and member forums proving opportunities to share advice and experience.

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Upcoming Events



Helping Individuals in Need Report

This toolkit is intended for those running a charity that gives grants to individuals in need. Authored by Caroline Aldred and Clementine Cowl, the idea for this guide came out of the questions that arise frequently at ACO meetings such as ‘our trustees want to offer loans to applicants, but can we do this and what are the legal implications?’ or ‘how should we manage home visits?’ We hope that this guide will assist in finding answers to these questions.

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  • Membership
  • ACO Network
  • Events
  • Policy
  • Knowledge
  • Research

Our Corporate & Associate Members

AO Business
aQmen Limited
Barclays
CCLA
Charles Stanley
Chihumento
Connect Assist
Eddie Green Graphic Design
EdenTree Investment Management Ltd
Griffiths & Armour
haysmacintyre
HSF Health Plan
IE Brand
Investec Wealth & Investment
James Hambro & Partners
Kingston Smith LLP
Law Express
Newton Investment Management
Quilter Cheviot
Rathbones
Relate
Renovo
Ruffer LLP
Russell-Cooke LLP
Smith & Williamson
The OT Practice
UBS AG
Wilsons Law LLP
Yoke & Co

Note ACO does not explicitly promote corporate members or favour particular providers