There was a time in the nonprofit world when bringing up the “M” word (merger) was avoided like the plague. Our volatile economy and drastic government budget cuts have opened the door to greater discussion and exploration. While such exploration may not be for everyone, there appears to be evidence that there are a host of benefits to such exploration.
The Forbes Funds in an article from their Tropman Reports publication notes that “The exploration process is time consuming but viewed as worthwhile, even if organizations don’t merge.” Some of the benefits highlighted include:
- Organizations that don’t merge often instead structure program alliances with their merger exploration process.
- The process helped clarify and reinforce organizational missions.
In our own experience at the Support Center, organizations that take this journey of exploration are able to clarify their unique value within their community, have an enhanced understanding of their capacities, and – in some cases – discover cost savings and program innovation opportunities. A good time to explore a merger is during an Executive Transition (learn more here).
Merger exploration can often result in other forms of restructuring that may be helpful to your organization such as joint programming, strategic alliance, collaborative proposal writing, consolidation of services or administrative functions, and cross-referral agreements.
Can exploring a merger opportunity benefit you? Please leave a comment and let me know.