helping charities helping people

The ACO Network - Group of people sitting and working around a desk
Last updated March 2018

About Us

ACO is the umbrella body for charitable organisations helping people in need. We are a powerful network of over a hundred organisations. Our members are all keen to share their know-how, interested in what other members do and are increasingly working together to make everyone more effective and efficient. ACO provides support to its members with a wide range of services.

Networking & Events

Creating opportunities for members to share and get advice and support through:
  • Providing a platform for peer networks and Member Groups.
  • Bespoke Events - We host a quarterly Grant Making Forum which is also videoed; ACO chairs the Under 5s which is a support group for very small charities with under 5 employees; Annual Conference; AGM & Autumn Summit.
  • Convening Working Groups on issues of special interest.

Providing information

Our website is updated regularly and we produce Charity News Review, our regular digitial newsletter (10 editions per year) exclusively for members. This publication contains all the latest industry news, Special Reports, features Guest Articles and a comprehensive digest of the latest publications relevant to the sector. We also produce Policy briefings.


Our members are always keen to know how they compare to other organisations. ACO runs quarterly Member Surveys on areas of specific member interest (eg use of MIS, Preparedness for GDPR & the upcoming Digital Survey). We actively promote good practice with our Knowledge Hub which also helps members tackle problems together and offer each other solutions. We are also really excited to have just started work with members on a substantial Benchmarking initiative for our sector.

Lobbying and campaigning

Giving our members a voice by responding to government consultations and raising awareness about the work of our member organisations

Interested in joining us?

For more information about becoming a member please email and/ or see the relevant leaflet below for Charity Membership, Corporate membership or Associate Membership.

What our members say:

"Whenever I'm networking with ACO colleagues, I can hit the ground running. I don't have to explain what we are trying to deliver for our users."

"It's so energising to be in a room full of people who already totally understand what we are trying to achieve and who can inspire me with new ways of doing just that. No other organisation can provide that opportunity."

"I am immensely grateful for the support I have received from the ACO community. Sharing ideas and best practice through ACO's regular networking forums has been invaluable."

"ACO membership provides excellent value for money because resources, networking, learning and sharing are available to everyone in our organisation - not just a named member."

"As a newcomer to the charity sector, I found the friendly support that I received from ACO members extremely helpful. The annual fee is excellent value for money giving access to so much information and to networking events."

ACO Membership Leaflet & Current Subscription rates

Icon ACO Charity Membership Leaflet 2018

General Information

Information on becoming a member of ACO - for registered charities - with current subscription rates

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