Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Success factors in nonprofit mergers – 082712

Nonprofit mergers are being explored throughout North America as a way to address funding cuts, strengthen services, increase operational efficiency and even, pending executive director retirements. In Minnesota, more than nonprofits have already merged, or the better term is “realigned.”

A new report was issued this summer about a study of 41 direct service organization mergers that occurred in Minnesota from 1999 to 2010. The study, Success Factors in Nonprofit Mergers, was a joint project of MAP for Nonprofits and Wilder Research, both based in St. Paul. There is a lot experience embedded in this report of value to nonprofits everywhere who are considering realignments. Leaders of new nonprofits might consider exploring opportunities to realign with older ones where retirements are pending. And leaders of emerging nonprofits may use realignments as a way to expand the scope and reach of their services.

My guest this week is Renae Oswald-Anderson, director of redesign services for MAP for Nonprofits. Her organization has completed 65 realignments affecting 120 organizations since 2007. It also provides management consulting and services, and board recruitment and training, and has done so for more than 30 years.

On the show, Renae and I talk about what nonprofit executives and boards need to consider when exploring a realignment. You’ll notice that the primary driver of successful realignments is not finances, but rather, how the merged nonprofits will better serve changing community needs.