Then you may want to review a recent post by Clinton O'Brien on Frogloop, the blog from Care2. Titled Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances - Don't Try This at Home?, the post summarizes a discussion with Guidestar CEO Bob Ottenhoff and Network for Good CEO Bill Strathmann held here in DC last week.
During the discussion, Strathmann talked about his own experiences when Network for Good merged with Groundspring in 2005. He noted, “Mergers are made for financial reasons but fail for people reasons” -- a view shared by other management experts.
The two speakers addressed issues that merging organizations may face, including "culture" clashes, difficulties in uniting different technologies, and the impact of layoffs. They also suggested that assistance from a third party, such as a charitable foundation, can help foster trust and cooperation -- and possibly provide bridge funding during the process.
A list of resources on the topic of nonprofit mergers and collaborations can be found on the Lodestar Foundation web site. We also found some interesting articles available online:
- The Reality Underneath the Buzz of Partnerships: The Potentials and Pitfalls of Partnering by Francie Ostrower. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Vol. 3 (Spring 2005)
- Merger Mania? National, Regional Groups Continue Negotiations to Join Forces by Don McNamara. Nonprofit Times, Vol. 19 (1 September 2005)
- Multi-Agency Planning: Working Together Just Makes Sense by Thomas McLaughlin. Nonprofit Times, Vol. 16 (1 December 2002)
You can find additional resources on nonprofit mergers and alliances in our library, including:
- The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook: The Leader's Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger by David La Piana
- Forming Alliances: Working Together to Achieve Mutual Goals by Linda Hoskins and Emil Angelica
- Nonprofit Mergers: The Power of Successful Partnerships by Dan H. McCormick
To locate more resources on this topic, search the Foundation Center's Catalog of Nonprofit Literature; you could start by searching on "Nonprofit organizations--mergers" in the subject field.
(This post is from Trina Brown, reference librarian at the Foundation Center's Washington D.C. library/learning center.)