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Last updated July 2019

What we do

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.

Join Here

Our members hold ACO and its services in high regard. In our 2018 annual members' survey, 95% of members said we were getting our membership offer right, and 100% of members would recommend membership to others. 

How we help our Members

Networking, Training & Events

Creating opportunities for members to share and get advice and support through:
  • Providing a platform for peer networks and Member Groups.
  • Bespoke Events with guest speakers - We host a quarterly Grant Making Forum (which is videoed and posted on our website for those that cannot attend); ACO chairs the Under 5s, a support group for very small charities with under 5 employees; Annual Conference; AGM & Autumn Summit.
  • Convening Working Groups on issues of special interest. In the past, we have run training and workshops on issues relevant to the sector such as GDPR, finance, welfare, fundraising, governance, grant-making, and benefits.
  • Slack group to allow virtual networking within the ACO network and to ask questions to other members. 
Please view our Events page for more details.

PR and Communications

We actively share and promote the work of members so that they can reach a wider audience and other ACO members in our newsletter, on our website and on social media. 2019 is an exciting time to join the ACO as we have appointed award-winning PR agency Definition to work on our PR project to promote the work of the ACO and its members across the country (find out more). 

Providing information

Our website is updated regularly and we produce Charity News Review, our regular digital 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 and regularly update our member's knowledge hub Benepedia. 


We allow our members the opportunity to advertise their job listings on our website in order to assist with recruitment. 

Please see our Jobs Page


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 fill out the below form or email and/ or see the relevant leaflet below for Charity Membership, Corporate Membership or Associate Membership.

ACO Membership Leaflet & Current Subscription rates

Icon ACO Charity Members Leaflet 2018-2019


Information on ACO membership

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