Submitted by Jean Butzen on December 27, 2008 - 08:33

Paul Brest, Pres., William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Advocates Good Nonprofit Mergers

Another foundation leader was recently quoted as advocating for nonprofit mergers during these tough financial times. In an interview with Philanthropy News Digest, Paul Brest, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation was asked, "What is your view of mergers in the nonprofit sector?" Mr. Brest replied, "My view is that there is not enough pressure for mergers in our sector, and a time like this is an opportunity to look for good mergers, if circumstances warrant it."
It seems like the philanthropic voices in favor of nonprofit strategic re-structuring, or consolidation, are building. I wrote in my last posting about The Lodestar Foundation and their new national competition on the best nonprofit consolidation called "The Collaboration Prize." They received 644 responses to their competition which will award $250,000 in cash to the eventual winner to be announced March 5, 2009. We need to make sure that organizations are not pushed willy-nilly into the strategy, but to focus instead on Mr. Brest's words, "to look for good mergers." Still, it's interesting to see the momentum building for the strategy.