Bob Harrington

Partner Emeritus

San Francisco Bay Area, California
A word that sums me up is
The most interesting thing happening in the social sector today is:
The nonprofit sector has extraordinary, bright, committed, compassionate and driven staff and board members. It is a joy to work with these individuals and organizations in helping them achieve their mission.

Bob (he/him) specializes in helping nonprofits negotiate mergers and other highly-integrated partnerships to grow their impact. He has helped create and develop the field of strategic restructuring, which includes nonprofit mergers, and co-authored The Nonprofit Mergers Workbooks I and II. He regularly provides guidance to nonprofits, funders, and capacity builders on the diverse continuum of partnership options identified in La Piana’s Collaborative Map, and trains staff of national organizations and other capacity builders to effectively support partnership negotiations. Bob also helped create and works with clients to administer La Piana’s Strategic Restructuring Assessment Tool, which helps organizations clarify their needs, expectations, and readiness for partnership.

Bob is highly attuned to the issues involved in all forms of nonprofit partnerships, and enjoys working with all types of organizations. Asked about some of his most rewarding projects, he cites the merger of a domestic and sexual violence organization with an organization serving homeless and runaway youth, which resulted in significant expansion of and increased community support for these essential and interrelated programs. Another was a project that established a collaboration among 20 diverse environmental nonprofits, government agencies, and advocacy groups to further the common goal of enhancing the watersheds in Southern Oregon. Past clients include Women’s Center – Youth and Family Services, Rogue Basin Partnership, Pillars Community Services and Community Nurse Health Association, Salud Para La Gente and Watsonville Law Center, and Rogue River Watershed Council.

Bob’s commitment to the sector is deeply influenced by his experience running treatment programs for severely abused and emotionally traumatized young children. Prior to joining La Piana, he was executive director of Children’s Garden of California until it merged with Sunny Hills Children’s Services; he then served as COO of the merged organization. He has extensive nonprofit management experience working in complex human services fields. Bob has an MSW from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Davis.

Bob is available as a speaker and media resource on the topic of nonprofit mergers and partnerships. He recently presented at the BoardSource Leadership Forum and at the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts annual conference.

Learn more about Bob in this La Piana Consulting staff interview.