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Last updated December 2020

Our Publications

Read our latest publications relating to the benevolent charity sector and the work of our members


Breaking down barriers

This report was created to address concerns raised by ACO's member charities of the stigma that may exist when it comes to individuals approaching charities for support - where charities were reporting individuals often only approaching them as a last resort.

Breaking down barriers - Breaking down barriers

Benevolent funds and their professional associations

The Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) has published a new report looking at the relationship between benevolent charities and their connected professional associations.

Lock and key - Lock and key

Coronavirus: Delivering financial support

This guide for grant making to individuals was developed to help new funds establish their grant making operations during the COVID-19 crisis. It features the key considerations for anyone thinking about establishing a new fund, and shares insight into how our member charities are responding to COVID-19 and adapting their processes.

Gloved hands - Gloved hands

Helping Individuals in Need

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.

Helping Individuals in Need - Front cover and contents of the publication

Research Report on MIS & ACO members Nov 2017

This is the full report on results of online survey and follow-up interviews on ACO member charities' use of the Minimum Income Standard to help them assess the financial needs of individuals and households - Prof. Donald Hirsch, Centre for Research & Social Policy, Loughborough University, November 2017.

Benchmarking Report 2014

ACO in Partnership with Turn2us have published a revealing report about charitable practice . The report will enable charities to review their performance against similar funds in the sector and be an invaluable tool for impact measurement and future planning..

Benchmarking Report 2014 - Scene showing graphs and charts printed out and on screen

Changing for Good

The Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) has released a “State of the Sector” research report “Changing for Good” that highlights the challenges faced by benevolent funds and trusts and foundations providing grants to people in need. These include the changing patterns of need as a response to financial austerity and fears of more pressure on charitable funds due to welfare reform.

ACO Changing for good report - Sample pages from the ACO publication 'Changing for good'