Merging for Effectiveness

The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Greater Philadelphia Cares

While Fairmount has helped organizations throughout the region find partners for a merger or affiliation, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Greater Philadelphia Cares found each other. They were pretty sure their shared vision for spurring volunteers to greater community involvement made them a good match for a merger, but they needed external, expert guidance to take them from “pretty sure” to completely confident. That’s where we came in.

Fairmount develops a focused merger negotiation process with clearly defined expectations culminating in a legal agreement to merge or a set of alternatives should organizations go their separate ways. Working with the leadership of United Way and GPC, we created the benchmarks by which their merger could be evaluated: compatibility of missions, values, and organizational cultures; vision for the future; staff competencies; key stakeholders and funders; and financial outlook. We facilitated discussions about external environment and trends, and what the future might look like if United Way and GPC merged to address them together. Throughout the process Fairmount served as frank facilitator and advisor, asking the tough questions so our clients could make their decision.

In the end, they merged to create the Community Action Center at the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. A marriage of GPC’s leadership and United Way’s community impact team, the Community Action Center connects the region’s nonprofits and volunteers to meaningful service experiences and social change initiatives in ways that were not possible for the two organizations alone.

Fairmount Services: Mergers & Affiliations