Nonprofit mergers are most often perceived (by nonprofit execs and board members as a negative concept with unwilling subjects. I would offer that few understand about what can be a number of options for partnerships between nonprofits that may achieve similar outcomes and a true merger (two organizations become a new organization) is only one of these options.
In Chicago a study on nonprofit mergers has just been rolled-out with the following findings:
BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER
The Metropolitan Chicago Nonprofit Merger Research Project, a yearlong report released Oct. 20, is the first study of nonprofit mergers in the Chicago area. Here's what researchers found after examining 25 mergers and interviewing 100 executives.
Before the merger
80% of cases: A prior relationship existed between the two merging organizations
56%: The acquired organization said that financial weakness was a consideration
24%: The loss of a key funder was a factor
52%: A CEO was about to retire, or an interim CEO was in place
44%: Outside contributors paid part or most of costs
44%: Naming or branding the new organization was a difficult issue
64%: The cultural integration of the two organizations was more difficult than expected
80%: Hired an outside consultant or facilitator to help with the merger.
88%: Organizations felt they were better off post-merger
I would that my experience in supporting the process of exploring partnerships can lead to all kinds of positive outcomes of which a merger may be only one. Here's the Chicago Business article.