Forefront Radio: Mergers as a Strategy for Success

Monday, October 31, 2016

"We hope the study tears down some of these barriers, gets people talking about what can be done to build greater trust and collaboration." - Donald Haider

Editor’s note: As part of Forefront’s Mission Sustainability Initiative, we’re highlighting models of successful partnerships that have put local nonprofits on a strategic path to sustainability and growth, as well as the latest research. Read the other posts in this blog series here.

In this episode of Forefront radio, we talk with Donald Haider, Director of Northwestern's Center for Nonprofit Management and Jean Butzen, President and Founder of Mission + Strategy Consulting about their work on the Metropolitan Chicago Nonprofit Merger Research Study. The first of its kind in the midwest, the study explores how nonprofits can use mergers as effective and powerful tools to achieve their goals, advance their mission, and increase their impact. The study analyzes 25 nonprofit mergers that took place in the Chicago metro area between 2004 and 2014 and highlights the diverse paths these organizations took to arrive at positive outcomes.

Through interviews with merger participants, the study offers a qualitative analysis of the entire merger process. It covers:

  • Why the organizations sought to merge
  • How the participants went about finding an appropriate partner
  • How they conducted negotiations
  • How they met the challenges that occurred along the way in order to achieve positive outcomes
  • What their post-merger organizations look like

In the podcast, we discussed the impetus for the study, key findings, and the 10 keys for merger success. 

Visit the study's dedicated microsite, to read the Executive Summary, Case Studies, as well as the full report. 

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— Kathleen Murphy, Director, Communications