Submitted by Jean Butzen on November 1, 2016 - 11:00

M+S Commissions New Study on Non-Profit Mergers

M+S Releases Study on Nonprofit Mergers for Chicago Metro Area

On Oct. 20th, M+S published a study on the use of nonprofit mergers in the Chicago metropolitan area. The study, called Mergers as a Strategy for Success, was completed in partnership with the Chicago Foundation for Women.  The research was led by Don Haider, the Director of the Center on Nonprofit Management at Kellogg, and our lead sponsor was the Polk Bros. Foundation.

The goal of the study was to educate nonprofit leaders and donors about how mergers can be used successfully to achieve mission goals and increase impact. We tried to stress that a merger is not always the right strategy for every situation, but when used appropriately, under the right conditions, a merger strategy can lead to extremely positive outcomes.

The researchers for the study interviewed over 100 board and staff leaders from both sides – the “acquired” and “acquiring” – of 25 mergers completed during the years 2004–2014, and also interviewed people involved with four mergers which were started but not finished. The study is a blend of quantitative and qualitative research and relies heavily on the case method of inquiry. There is specific advice for nonprofit leaders, board directors, and foundation officers that comes directly from those that were interviewed, including advice for how to address common problems that come up in mergers. The study concludes with five detailed case studies of very different mergers as examples to learn from.

Later this fall, we will be publishing a companion tool kit for the study, providing resources that people can use to assist them to evaluate and process a merger strategy. Watch for our email and social media posts announcing when the tool kit is ready.

To download the study or the executive summary, go here