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The Sustainable Nonprofit: 'Lessons from a successful merger'

August 17, 2021

Handshake_two_suitsHow nonprofit mergers can energize donors and accelerate progress

While nonprofit and for-profit organizations differ in that nonprofits are mission-driven and for-profits are profit-driven, both seek to provide value to their constituents or customers, so it's critical to maximize efficiencies to increase capacity, value, and impact. Consolidation or mergers are an important way to maximize efficiencies — an area where nonprofits could learn valuable lessons from for-profits.

Although mergers occasionally occur in the nonprofit space, particularly among larger organizations, the tendency is toward proliferation, which is almost always driven by the best of motives. Individuals personally affected by a disease or cause are moved to action and often set up a nonprofit to do work that is already being done by other organizations. This can dilute available resources, create inefficiencies, and confuse donors. Consolidation, by contrast, creates opportunities for existing nonprofits to expand mission and achieve results that simply aren't possible when resources are fragmented....

Read the full column article by John L. Lehr, CEO of the Parkinson's Foundation....

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