Considering Collaborations?

The new economic challenges we are all facing have given rise to a dramatic up-tick in conversations around building collaborations and exploring mergers. Not surprisingly, when I talk to nonprofit CEOs and board members about their success in such endeavors, the reports are mixed.

Regardless of the results, our sector will need to learn more about what makes collaborations and mergers work. We will need to stay nimble, flexible and innovative if we are going to be able to meet the needs of the communities we serve. The Forbes Funds of Pittsburgh recently commissioned research on mergers and collaborations and highlighted the following issues:

  • The primary driver for merger exploration is expansion of capacity to deliver on the mission, closely followed by increased competition and the viability of one of the two organizations
  • Leadership questions are key in mergers
  • The chances for success are heightened when strong ties already exist with a potential partner
  • Although the timeline to complete the merger typically met leaders’ expectations, full integration takes much longer to address due to challenges and obstacles resulting from cultural differences

Are you considering a new partnership, alliance or merger for your organization? Take a look at some of the things that are being learned about mergers (“What Makes Mergers and Collaborations Work?” from The Forbes Funds).

Let me know what you are learning and please leave a comment.

-Don Crocker

CEO/Executive Director

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