By Steve Dixon
A fundamental prerequisite to successfully amalgamating two Not-For-Profits (NFP) is trust.
Attempting to combine any two NFP’s is hard enough at the best of times; doing so without building trust usually engenders an unhappy outcome.
A distinguishing feature of NFP Amalgamations is the absence of price. Remove the driving market force of price and replace it with ego and ideology and you are one big step closer to understanding the complexities of NFP Amalgamations. So to extrapolate by analogy, just as a favourable price in a profit driven transaction can go a long way towards appeasing shareholders or vindicating Directors, so too can trust in the NFP world go a long way towards appeasing stakeholders or validating the decisions of Committee Members.
Our society abandoned arranged marriages long ago. Relationships take time to build if they are likely to succeed. NFP leaders who think they can negotiate Amalgamations without building relationships are not giving potentially valuable transactions their just desserts. In essence, an amalgamation in the community sector is 10% process and 90% people; trust is fundamental to winning the hearts and minds of those who are the key to successful amalgamation transactions.
So how does one build trust in such negotiations? Stay tuned.
About Steve: Steve Dixon is a Cause & Effective Associate who specialises in assisting organisations with Amalgamation Transactions and Strategic Development initiatives