The urge to merge
December 16, 2009
I applaud the recent integration of the Aspen Youth Experience into the Buddy Program. With the overwhelming number of nonprofits (more than 300) in this small valley it is time to evaluate where duplicate services exist and eliminate them. There are many nonprofits serving the same people, and each will argue that they need to exist because they have different missions.
The Buddy Program and Aspen Youth Experience have demonstrated that two organizations, both serving youth in our valley and beyond with different missions, can be under one umbrella. By consolidating they have eliminated a considerable amount of overhead. The youth they serve will now be able to receive broader services under one organization. Donors ought to be thrilled that they no longer need to support two organizations.
In a time where donations are down on average 20-30 percent and the state of our economy invites us to be more judicious with the way we do business, nonprofits need to take a good, hard look at what is best for the community and not what is best for them. Consolidation ought to be top on their agendas. Board members and executive leadership need to be open-minded about integrating with similar nonprofits.
Imagine what might happen if 20 percent of our nonprofits consolidated? There would be enough money to handily support all of the nonprofits in this valley.
Please, board members and executive leadership, reach out to similar nonprofits and begin a dialogue on how to work together more effectively to truly reduce overhead. You just may find a better way to serve our valley.
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