By Chris Gandy
Whether it is for strategic or survival motives many not for profit leaders at the moment seem to be considering the opportunity to redesign their organisations through some form of joint-venture, merger, shared services and or acquisition.
Acknowledging that every union of two or more parties is unique, a number of factors have been identified as being key to a successful merger process such as executive leadership, board involvement, shared vision of benefit, thorough financial and legal due diligence and even the use of skilled merger consultants. While all of these are highly critical, one other I would like to throw into the mix is the not for profit’s DNA.
Essentially every not for profit is “hard wired” to serve a particular cause or demographic. It is why they were formed, why they exist, why they are supported – it is in the organisation’s DNA. When it comes to a merger it is extremely difficult to mix DNA and in reality in a merged entity it is the DNA of the stronger partner that prevails!
So if you are being courted by a potential suitor take a long hard look at that organisation’s DNA and consider how closely it matches yours. As a general rule I find that the wider the divergence the less chance the clients of your cause will benefit from the union.
About Chris: Chris Gandy is the founder and director of Cause and Effective – a provider of contingent resourcing and leadership search services to cause-based organisations.