Mergers are increasingly becoming a feature of the voluntary sector. The pressure for this comes for a number of different reasons. In some cases there is external pressure from funders. The shift in funding to contracting, particularly in areas like community care where larger organisations can have significant advantages in winning contracts, is often a factor. The Charities Acts included wider powers to enable small charities to be merged. In some cases the two charities wish to avoid duplication of effort or to rationalise where there are already close connections. Larger charities are also increasingly considering merger as a means of broadening the base of their activities. As in all issues involving charities, the charity trustees of all the charities involved in the merger must take independent appropriate professional advice and be satisfied at all stages that the merger is in the best interest of the charity and of its present and future beneficiaries. The public often criticise the sector for duplication of effort but diversity has its own benefits and mergers will not automatically result in increased funding and may lead to loss of volunteers or donations as loyalty often attaches to the individual charity rather than the charitable objects.