By MichaelaTuesday, May 30th, 2006
A trend we are seeing, and which may actually represent more than our imagination, is that a number of national organizations are undertaking the consolidation of their local affiliates into fewer, larger entities.
As an example, over the past five years, the Alzheimer’s Association has gone from more than 300 affiliates to less than 90.
Girl Scouts of America is going through a similar restructuring, and many, many other national organizations are as well.
The reason for such diverse groups all pursuing the same consolidation agenda is remarkably consistentâ€”the desire for greater impact. Smaller affiliates tend to be less robust; they experience financial difficulties more frequently, and require greater and more frequent intervention by the national office. Larger affiliates may be able to capture more donors, more participants, and more media attention.
What is unique about this phenomenon is that it is driven by the national office of these organizations, which makes the negotiations between parties at the local level more complex.
So, to answer the question I posed in the last entry, there might be an overall increase in the frequency of nonprofit mergers, or it might just be that your nonprofit is involved in a merger, and that is usually quite enough!