Submitted by Amanda Wright on February 28, 2014 - 11:47

Success and Mergers: Five Literacy Organizations Combine Forces and Secure $487,000

The Literacy Volunteers of Tuscon could probably not have anticipated where they would end up when they made teaching basic literacy and the English language their mission back in 1961. However, the scope of positive change they’ve experienced in the last few years has been extraordinary, picking up traction as a result of being chosen by Social Venture Partners (SVP) of Tuscon, Arizona as their non-profit investee back in the Spring of 2007.

With SVP’s help and $75,000 of unrestricted funds, nine partners worked tirelessly on strategic planning, board development, and building re-location, among other things. Over the course of three years, Literacy Volunteers of Tuscon became a leader in its sector, building their volunteer and donor base significantly from the ground up, allowing them to reach more clients than ever.

In 2011, the partnership between Literacy Volunteers of Tuscon and SVP gave way to the most exciting news yet when it oversaw a merger between Literacy Volunteers of Tuscon and four other literacy organizations from the area. The huge merger, facilitated by SVP partner David “Griff” Griffis focused on assisting the organizations with integrating their governance, programs and operations. This single and powerful nonprofit is now called Literacy Connects.

Literacy Connects is currently thriving and was recently awarded a $487,000 grant from the Helios Education Foundation for a three-year literacy project, intended to reach more than 5,800 children and adults directly, with even 3,400 more indirectly.

Success stories like this speak volumes to the benefits of a merger while also highlighting the many moving parts involved. For tips and resources on non-profit mergers, check out our previous blog entry:

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