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Welcome to the Institute for Voluntary Action Research – IVAR. We are an independent charity that works closely with people and organisations striving for social change. From the very small that directly support the most vulnerable in their local communities, to those that work nationally – across the voluntary, public and funding sectors.


We use research to develop practical responses to the challenges faced and create opportunities for people to learn from our findings. This site is home to our bank of research and resources, providing insights that can help organisations adapt to change and make informed and confident decisions.

Recently published



01 June 2020

Thinking about merger in 2020

Ben Cairns

IVAR has learned much over the last two decades about what makes a merger successful. How much of this can applied in the current circumstances?

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01 June 2020

Merger: Practitioner perspectives

This blog shares four perspectives of practitioners who have led merger processes. We asked Laurie Rackind, Joanna Holmes, Ben Hughes and Leah Swain to share their reflections for other leaders contemplating merger in the current context.

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