As part of Nonprofit Alliance’s mission to strengthen and support an effective nonprofit sector in the Battle Creek area, we were fortunate to be able to bring Bob Harrington (LaPiana Associates, Inc) to our community last year to dive into Strategic Restructuring (SR) and what that could mean in our town.
We all know nonprofits are increasingly learning to work together in new and different ways, but what SR has brought to our community is a process that can help folks think about, examine and plan for these new relationships. Taking this time up front can really pay off.
Maybe you have seen this scenario first-hand – two organizations decide to hurry through a merger process without proper guidance or support, perhaps due to some pending emergency. They surface from this “incomplete” process with too many unaddressed questions, or worse yet… a realization that they just spent a lot of time and resources to find out that they were not a good fit from the start.
I think one of the biggest impacts the SR process is having on our community is that it is helping nonprofits come to the table by choice. They are starting to see strategic alliances as just that… part of their strategy to best serve the community and not just a way out of some turmoil they find themselves in.
I’m not saying the SR process is easy – negotiations can be emotional and long. But handled properly organizations can emerge from the process not only stronger and more efficient, but also in a better position to positively impact their community for lasting change.
And… isn’t that what we’re all really working for anyway?
Submitted by Kimberlee Andrews, Program Manager with the Nonprofit Alliance in Battle Creek