Author Archives: Peter Kramer
February 26, 2013, 1:20 pm
Collaborations and mergers among nonprofits certainly aren’t new, but much of what nonprofit leaders know about them comes from our for-profit counterparts.
Nonprofit collaborations are no better and no worse than those done by for-profits. They’re simply different. As I wrote in a previous post, for-profit collaborations and mergers are driven by financial motivations including cost savings, but charities are unlikely to reap any savings for years, if at all. For nonprofits, the primary driver to merge or collaborate should be to help them achieve their missions. Mergers and collaborations are strategic tools. They do not have to be a last resort.
The Great Recession and the protracted recovery have sparked renewed interest in nonprofit collaborations. But resources dedicated to helping them carry out their plans are scarce, so many groups don’t know where to begin.
June 1, 2012, 1:02 pm
Though it may not always feel like it, the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009–three years ago. Nonprofits have been hit hard with increased demand for services and a shifting funding landscape in the years since the economic crisis began, and predictably there has been much talk of a resulting spike in collaborations and mergers. But the notion that collaborations are somehow linked with recessions leads to the false assumption that nonprofits should collaborate because of financial motivations.
Organizing strategic collaborations solely to reduce costs does not set up collaborating partners for success, and it ignores a fundamental function: to do a better job of accomplishing the mission.
So why do we associate tough economic times with collaborations and mergers? Because of money. When resources are scarce, competition for those resources increases, and the…