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Last updated March 2018

Charity Membership

If you are a Charity that gives grants and welfare support to individuals and families in need then the Association of Charitable Organisations is the specialist support organisation for you.

To enquire about membership, please email

ACO members

Over 100 registered charities, all independent of state funding who are seeking to raise their profile and help more people.

ACO members make grants to many hundreds of thousands of people each year offering them support, advice and befriending and over £150 million is given annually in grants alone.

Our members help many of the 12.5 million people in the UK with less than 50% of average income. There are also eligible people overseas.

Reasons to join ACO

ACO provides support to its members with a wide range of services and support


Building peer networks. ACO provides opportunities for members to share, get advice and support

Raising standards...

Promoting good practice, tackling problems together and offering solutions


Training charity professionals on finance, welfare, fund raising, governance, grant making and benefits

On-Line services...

Websites and member forums giving opportunities to seek and share advice and experience

Lobbying and campaigning...

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

Providing information...

Providing members with up-to-date information tailored to their specific interests through our monthly ACO e-newsletter "Charity News Review" and policy briefings

Corporate members...

Offers from providers of goods and services with competitive pricing and guaranteed service levels, available only to ACO members.

Membership types

Basic Subscription

Organisation annual turnover less than £1m

Band A Subscription

Organisation annual turnover between £1m and £3m

Band B Subscription

Organisation annual turnover between £3m and £5m

Band C Subscription

Organisation annual turnover over £5m

Low Income Subscription

Organisations with a low income, subject to approval by ACO's Treasurer.

Benefits of Membership


Free e-newsletter published ten times per annum. Packed with up-to-date information and the latest guidance specifically tailored to organisations that give grants and welfare support to people in need.

There is no limit to the number of individuals in your organisation who can receive our e-newsletter and it is sent at the beginning of the month. Email us at to request your free sample copy.


Members can attend a range of meetings and networks free of charge. Including our quarterly networking meeting the Grant Making Forum (this is also videod and the presentations emailed to members); Finance & Legal Group; Leadership Forum and Under Fives Group (for solo workers and small staff teams). We also organise one-off meetings on specialist areas from time to time.

Annual Conference

Once a year ACO organises a national conference for benevolence funds bringing together members with keynote speakers and workshops run by experts promoting best practice in grant making and welfare support.


ACO runs regular training events to support staff in member organisations in their roles.

Lobbying and Campaigning

ACO represents members views on issues of concern to government, opinion formers and policy makers. We lobby to promote a better public understanding of benevolence: the giving of time and money to help people in need.

Information Leaflet for Charity Membership of ACO

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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