Uniting Two Organizations in a Successful Merger
Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center (LSNC) knew it was time for a change. This small settlement house on New York City’s Upper West Side was financially stable but too small to offer the array of services their community sorely needed. Toying with the idea of a partnership, they had already been approached by two possible suitors but did not know how to proceed.
Our first task was to help clarify LSNC’s goals. We began by discussing what they were hoping to achieve through a merger and how to select the right candidate, assuming a combination made sense. These conversations, nuanced and critically important, revealed that LSNC needed to find a mission-aligned, culturally compatible organization with a robust infrastructure, budget and board; someone they could partner with to provide more for their clients.
Understanding the kind of partner that LSNC wanted and needed, we thoroughly examined the two candidates they were already considering. As part of our due diligence assessment, we reviewed each organization’s financial health, funding sources, leadership, programs, client profiles and culture, among other things. Presenting our research to LSNC, we explained what each potential partner could hypothetically bring to the table.
With that, our client was ready to further test the waters with each prospective candidate. During their preliminary talks, we offered ongoing guidance and analysis to ensure that our client was asking the right questions and getting the information they needed to make a solid decision about their future.
After much debate and consideration, LSNC chose to merge with Goddard Riverside Community Center (GRCC). We were happy to make the match. Having completed such an extensive analysis of both parties’ needs, we were confident it was a solid one.
Once LSNC and GRCC decided to partner, we moved on to our second task: making sure their merger was as seamless and successful as possible. We outlined a two-stage transition process that began with forming a strategic affiliation before eventually blending the two organizations into a single, unified entity. This allowed LSNC and GRCC to begin working together immediately, continuing to provide services to their communities while waiting for the necessary regulatory approvals.
We identified how LSNC and GRCC could efficiently work together, breaking down every step of their transition in exhaustive detail. By integrating their management structures, executive boards and back-office functions, LSNC and GRCC could save time, valuable resources and ensure more support for their clients.
We facilitated important conversations and legal negotiations, and we identified ways the two organizations could combine their talents and cultures to greatest effect. We also helped them manage critical communications with all their stakeholders, funders, clients and community.
Having come together with GRCC, LSNC has already begun to realize their objectives. Within weeks of signing their affiliation agreement, LSNC’s new Executive Director added a summer youth program, which thrilled the community. Not only have they strengthened their services, but they have seen renewed funder interest, increased fundraising capacity, additional staff support and more board engagement.
Today, we’re thrilled to see that this merger is well on its way to realizing the additional impact both partners anticipated, providing critical services to an under-served population.
From the client
To rally all interested parties and successfully complete a merger, strong and determined leadership is critical.