WG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group discusses nonprofit mergers

by Katy Moore, Member Services Manager


(l to r) Ed Orzechowski, Catholic Charities; Pamela Holman, PEPCO; Kim Young, Capital One

Another great “Nosh, Network and Knowledge” Corporate Funders Luncheon! The room reached capacity last Thursday as some of the areas most well-respected corporate grantmakers came together to discuss their role in encouraging nonprofit partnerships, collaborations and mergers.

Guest speakers, Ed Orzechowski (Catholic Charities) and Michelle Palmer (Family Ties Project), set the stage by sharing their own merger experiences from both the grantee and funders’ perspective.

CONVERSATION THEMES:
• Many nonprofits are looking for ways to achieve economies of scale and long-term sustainability due to the slumping economy and increasing community need. Back-office consolidation and strategic partnerships are often discussed, but merger is rarely discussed without external influence
• Similar to for-profit mergers, nonprofit mergers are difficult and they usually take longer and cost more than anticipated. Often the most arduous task is overcoming the intangibles such as uniting organizational cultures and effectively communicating with staff and stakeholders.
• Grantmakers have a rare birds-eye view of the nonprofit field and are in a unique position to foster partnerships among grantees with similar goals. But is that our role?

ACTION ITEMS:
• Corporate grantmakers suggested that a program on this topic be offered to the larger membership…Stay tuned for more details!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Nonprofit Mergers: Why so Rare?  
Are There Too Many Nonprofits?
The Nonprofit Merger Handbook
Nonprofit Mergers: Experience Assessment

Remember, our corporate grantmaking members meet for lunch on the third-Thursday of every-other-month. Hope to see you at upcoming luncheons: Sept.18th and Nov. 20th!

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Communication is key to building a strong network. That’s why Washington Grantmakers sponsors the Corporate Philanthropy Listserv. This electronic discussion forum is a vehicle for our corporate members to pose questions and share resources with colleagues in real-time.

To pose a question, simply send an email to wg-corp@googlegroups.com. (Not yet a subscriber? Send an email to Katy at moore@washingtongrantmakers.org to begin participating today!)