Common Impact and Taproot Foundation connect skilled, private-sector volunteers with nonprofits through pro-bono consulting projects. The two organizations realized that they had complementary strengths including leadership development programs, corporate partnerships, a global footprint, and a robust online platform that connect volunteers and nonprofits. A SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration grant provided partial funding for a consulting engagement to explore a merger.
Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development served Phoenix-area homeless youths ages 12-25 with resource centers, emergency and transitional housing, life counseling and other programs. When Tumbleweed declared bankruptcy, UMOM New Day Centers acquired Tumbleweed programs to preserve the essential services for homeless teens. The inherited programs will remain branded under the Tumbleweed banner. Along with a number of other Phoenix-based funders, The Lodestar Foundation provided funding to UMOM for a portion of the one-time, third-party costs of the acquisition of the Tumbleweed programs.
PEN America, based in New York City, and PEN Center USA, based in Los Angeles, share a commitment to protecting and advocating for First Amendment rights while also promoting a community of literary expression. The two PEN organizations, which stands for Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, Novelists, each have very distinct cultures and approaches to their work and have long viewed each other as separate but equal entities. In 2017, they decided it was time to explore a more formal collaboration. A portion of the costs associated with the exploration of a merger was provided by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.
Five like-missioned nonprofits that serve the human services sector in the Louisville, Kentucky area(Family & Children's Place, Maryhurst, The Center for Women and Families, Boys & Girls Haven and Uspiritus) came together to create a management services nonprofit, ImpactV, to provide centralized administrative and management services to the five organizations. The benefits that are being realized from ImpactV include shared knowledge of processes and procedures, resource sharing and resource information, technology improvements, reduced software costs and organizational efficiencies. The longer term plan is to offer the services for purchase to other nonprofits in the community. A challenge grant from Lodestar provided funding for the integration of the five non-profits' administrative services into the new nonprofit.
The Lodestar Foundation provided additional grants to The Synergos Institute to connect Turkish philanthropists in a way that is designed to encourage more collaboration among them. Among other activities, the funding supported, the completion of a study on Turkish Philanthropy.
Stand Up Ideas, Inc. and Protect Democracy jointly convened about 100 of the most influential civic leaders from nonprofit, government, media and academic institutions across the political spectrum working to defend democratic norms, ideals and institutions. The convening provided a platform for leading thinkers, reformers and activists to collaborate on workable, near-term solutions to protect U.S. democracy against the increased risk of authoritarian government. Working through an interactive small-group process, the participants identified a number of pressing issues, with accompanying action items, to facilitate change. Post-Summit activities include continued collaboration around the key issues, as well as a second group convening in the fall of 2018. Grants from Lodestar provided major support for both the initial Summit and the second Summit.
Happiness House, CP Rochester, and Rochester Rehabilitation underwent a corporate restructuring to strengthen the delivery of a range of educational, therapeutic, family support, residential, employment, and mental health services to differently-abled children and adults as well as their families in upstate New York. These partners selected a particularly flexible form that creates cost savings and efficiencies through shared management, quality control, and administrative functions that support a wide range of programs in a multi-county region. In addition, the strong ties among the three organizations led the Happiness House Foundation to become the Ability Partners Foundation which now raises money to support all three partners.
What began 14 years ago as a partnership among the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh (JCC), Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS;), and Jewish Association on Aging (JAA) formed to respond to a federal innovation grant has deeply connected three Pittsburgh organizations serving seniors. Through the collaborative, AgeWell Pittsburgh, the three agencies have been able to rethink both services and service delivery. The focus on the community and on outcomes has reoriented the cultures of the three agencies. Today 96% of the 7,000 seniors enrolled in AgeWell Pittsburgh services maintain non-institutional status, making Age Well Pittsburgh a model that is being replicated in other communities.
Over 30,000 acres of farm, forest and natural land in the Carolinas is preserved each year thanks to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Pacolet Area Conservancy. The organizations have a long history of successfully working together. Taking the relationship to the next level occurred in 2017 when both boards approved a merger. The combined organization combines deep program expertise and infrastructure with a large dedicated volunteer base. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the costs of the merger.
Bikkurim, Joshua Venture Group, PresenTense and Upstart Bay Area provide capacity building support to startups and emerging leaders serving the Jewish community. The organizations realized that there was a lot of overlap among their programs and funders, which created confusion for their clients and competition for funding. In order to better serve their community, the organizations engaged a consultant to help them explore a merger, and in October 2016, all four organizations announced their intention to merge. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the costs of the merger.
Race Forward and The Center for Social Inclusion work to advance racial equality through research and policy creation, training and capacity building. The organizations collaborated on various projects over the last three decades. They decided to merge together in order to grow their footprint, increase their impact and effect more policy change. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration helped to fund one-time costs associated with the merger.
The Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness provided leadership in statewide efforts to end homelessness through advocacy, education and coordination with local communities and initiatives. The Arizona Housing Alliance was a statewide coalition that supports and advocates for quality housing that Arizonans can afford. The two organizations, with many similarities in their work and goals, merged to form the Arizona Housing Coalition in order to have a greater impact on policy decisions and resources for housing and homelessness. A grant from the Lodestar Foundation helped to offset the expenses of the merger.
In June 2017, the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board was eliminated due to state budget cuts. However, the Board’s directors, who have expertise in environmental education, remained committed to continuing the work. Therefore, the directors began merger discussions with the National Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. The merger would afford immediate capacity-building in environmental education and strong relationships with some of Wisconsin’s top environmental education providers. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration helped to fund one-time costs associated with the merger.
In January 2018, Stand Up Ideas, Inc. invited 100 of the most influential civic leaders from non-profit, government, media and academic institutions to gather in Washington D.C. The purpose was to convene the nation’s leading civic organizations working to defend democratic norms, ideals and institutions. The goals of the summit were to 1) strengthen the network of leading individuals and organizations dedicated to defending democracy in America through, for example, protecting our independent press, a democratic process free from significant foreign influence, and adherence to the Constitution; 2) drive increased public urgency and awareness of the importance of active democracy promotion; and 3) share knowledge and resources among the network and identify opportunities for collaboration and a lasting coalition. Future convenings will be held to strengthen individual efforts and form collaborations for Congressional outreach, public letters, media and events. Two separate grants from The Lodestar Foundation funded the facilitator costs for the summit, and helped support the event and network for one year following the initial event.
In July 2017, more than 500 professionals in various capacities of volunteer management joined together to discuss and map the future of the field at the first national summit in more than 10 years. A major goal of the summit was to reestablish a network to support and professionalize volunteerism in the sector. The Lodestar Foundation provided a grant to fund a portion of the event planning and production efforts.
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and The Lung Cancer Alliance provide research, raise awareness of the disease and support lung cancer patients. The combined organizations have raised over $130 million for lung cancer research and programs and both are dedicated to changing the conversation around lung cancer, removing the stigma it carries as a “smoker’s disease.” The nonprofits realized that a merger would provide easier succession planning, scale, complementary programs and increased fundraising opportunities. An engagement to explore a merger was partially funded by a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.
Every summer, many Arizona nonprofits dealing with special needs children have had to compete to reserve week-long sessions at mountain camps to provide a camp experience for their clients; very rarely were the camps able to adequately accommodate the often complex physical, medical and developmental challenges of these campers. A number of these nonprofits collaborated to form a new nonprofit to acquire Whispering Hope Ranch, a facility that has been designed to accommodate a diverse population of children with special needs. Lodestar supported the acquisition of joint-use furnishings for the camp.
There are 63 Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs) operating 600 sites in New York State serving 1.7 million patients, with half of the clinics in New York City. A group of nine FQHCs in New York State are working together to create an Independent Practice Association (IPA), an association of physicians and primary healthcare providers that will allow them to jointly negotiate rates and more efficiently bill Managed Care Organizations for services provided. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a grant to help cover facilitation fees.
The EastWest Institute (EWI) is an independent, non-governmental organization (NGO) that works to reduce international conflict, addressing seemingly intractable problems that threaten world security and stability. EWI is a global network of over 1,000 public and private sector experts with a 35-year track record of providing thought leadership, strategic counsel and unique perspectives to governments, the private sector and other stakeholders worldwide. EWI brings conflicting parties to the negotiating table, often for the first time, enabling dialogue and trust building. Lodestar has provided multiple grants to support the continuing work of EWI.
Community foundations hold a special place in philanthropy, operating at the intersection of the aspirations of those in need and those with the means to fuel positive change. In May 2014, 5 community foundations in New Mexico began an exploration to discuss new models of cooperation including a merger and/or a consolidation of operations. The Lodestar Foundation provided a grant to support the exploration.