White Paper #2

Emerging Nonprofit Partnership Models: Two Alternatives to Traditional Merger

Merger of nonprofit organizations has historically faced several obstacles, including concerns about loss of autonomy and limited understanding of a range of potential partnership alternatives. In this paper we detail two emerging partnership models nonprofits may consider, to promote efficiency, mission impact and financial sustainability: Consolidation with Local Autonomy, and Strategic Alliance of Independent Organizations. We compare the relative merits of these models and contrast both with the Common Merger. 

Download the paper here.

White Paper #1

The Four Types of Nonprofits: A New System to Better Understand Best Management and Governance Practices

Nonprofits are often viewed as a unified whole by researchers, funders and consultants seeking to identify best organizational practices. Alternately, many nonprofits are categorized into self-defined micro-sectors, with supposed unique attributes. The generalist approach ignores basic functional differences among nonprofits, while the specialist view can create arbitrary distinctions. Both perspectives have inherent drawbacks, and may create obstacles to understanding the sources of organizational success (and failure). To clarify focus in the assessment of management and governance practices, we offer a new classification system based on the functional roles nonprofits play in pursuing their social missions. We define four types of organizations: community-based (C-orgs); service delivery (D-orgs); system impact (I-orgs); and network management (N-orgs). Each type has distinct structural characteristics and capacity needs.

Download the paper here.