When does one plus one equal five, or maybe even ten? When you can multiply as well as add. That kind of arithmetic is why I’m so excited to announce that the Boards of Directors of both Nonprofits Assistance Fund and MAP for Nonprofits have approved the merger of the two organizations effective January 1, 2017.
Because the two organizations’ programs are complementary but not overlapping, the combination will result in a more holistic approach to services that meets a larger set of nonprofits’ needs, including the ability to more closely link strategy, governance, and finance and to support nonprofits throughout their organizational lifecycle. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a grant to help fund the merger exploration.
We’ve been discussing the potential merger publicly since mid-September, and the feedback has been universally positive and encouraging. The board and staff leadership of both organizations have enjoyed learning about each other’s accomplishments, programs, and history, and getting to know one another. The more we heard, the clearer it was that together we have a real opportunity to multiply instead of add by integrating the programs and supports that NAF and MAP provide to the nonprofit sector. We can imagine the potential impact when nonprofits can choose to combine MAP’s accounting and finance services with NAF’s extensive financial management and financial leadership training programs; or the value of nonprofits leveraging strategic guidance from MAP’s team with access to capital through NAF’s loan fund. I’m also excited to start the conversations with the staff and volunteers, clients, partners, and supporters about their ideas and vision for the future of the merged organization.
A joint committee of board and staff members has been meeting since September to sort through the critical questions and decisions that informed the final approvals on December 8. The composition of the board of directors and leadership team has been determined, and all programs of both MAP and NAF will be maintained. There are a few important decisions to be addressed in 2017, including a new name, identity, and brand. During the interim period, MAP and NAF will continue to operate current programs with current branding. While we search for an appropriate facility for our 28 staff members, the merged organization will work from offices in Minneapolis in the building where NAF has been located.
MAP for Nonprofits plus Nonprofits Assistance Fund is much more than one plus one. The merger is a multiplier, fueling the impact and effectiveness of nonprofits with guidance, expertise, and capital.
I’d like to add a personal thank you and congratulations to Judy Alnes, who is retiring at the end of 2016 after 19 years as the Executive Director of MAP for Nonprofits. Judy has been a leader in the nonprofit sector locally and nationally and has led MAP with vision, wisdom, and heart. It’s my privilege to carry on a part of her legacy into the future.