We see mergers in the business world as a tool to promote efficacy and productivity within the organization, but does this hold same for nonprofits, too? According to the “Chicago Merger Study,” it does! If you think about it, nonprofit organizations work almost the same way as for-profit business do; the difference is that nonprofits are generating funds to go directly to their mission and cause.
The Chicago-based study analyzed 25 nonprofit mergers between 2004 and 2014. The study’s main takeaway is that there is no general guideline to follow for a successful merger because each merger is unique and each organization has different goals, circumstances and personalities—“a successful merger is one that meets the needs and goals of all parties involved and leads to improved services or increased impact.”
Here are some of the study’s highlights:
Here are the critical issues the study found:
Researchers asked participating organizations that have gone through the merger process for their opinions on the important factors for a successful merger. These important factors included, but are not limited to trust, focus on the mission, clear organizational goals, knowledge about the potential partner, the CEO, board members and staff, attention to cultural alignment, outside experts (attorneys, accountants, merger facilitators) and familiarity with the merger strategy.
To learn more about nonprofit mergers and strategies for a successful merger, come attend the NonProfit PRO Leadership Conference, where you can listen to Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance, share his case study on a merger of two of the largest nonprofits within the colorectal cancer advocacy space. He will delve into the details of what motivated the organizations to merge and how to continue the organization’s impact, as well as the challenges of going through the process of a merger.
Register for the annual conference here.