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9 tips for mergers

by The NonProfit Times - May 9, 2013

A merger takes a lot of work but, if done correctly, the deal can be a great asset to all organizations involved. The example of Literacy Connects is a perfect example of this.

The Tucson, Ariz.-based organization celebrated its first year as a merged organization in July 2012. What had once been five separate organizations was now one successful organization. Since the merger, the organization has received increased community attention and praise for the consolidation.

In the article “Literacy Connects: A Merger of Five Tucson Literacy Organizations,” in the November/December 2012 issue of Advancing Philanthropy, Susan Vance wrote that one key to success of the merger was that the executive directors and board members from each program had previously collaborated, so they already had experience with each other.

Vance recommended nine other tips that will help a budding merger end up as successful as Literacy Connects:

  • Make sure you have compatible missions;
  • Establish trust;
  • Hire a consultant to facilitate merger talks;
  • Get a sense of the individual cultures within various organizations;
  • Review finances and funding with due diligence;
  • Expect complexity;
  • Be open to change;
  • Know that there will be unforeseen complications; and,
  • Be patient.


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