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'Charity mergers - a happy marriage or living in sin?'

'Charity mergers are not easy - they have to come from the heart.'

So stated Lesley-Anne Alexander, CEO of Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), at Cass yesterday.

According to Alexander, most charities are set up as a knee-jerk reaction to tragedy. Boundaries to entry are very low in the sector.

For example, 733 charities have 'supporting blind and partially-sighted people' as part of their organisational objectives.

Despite this, estimates suggest that charities only reach a third of the UK's sight loss population.

Alexander would like to see the Charity Commission insist on a period of six months reflection, during which those wishing to set up a new charity research charities already operating in the same area.

RNIB, under Alexander's leadership, has grown over the past decade through mergers with more than ten other charities for blind people.

Hear more from Alexander via Storify.

The event was part of the Dean's Lecture Series in association with the Cass Mergers and Acquisitions Research Centre and the Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness.

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