The Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) is a coalition of more than 90 organizations that promote people-to-people coexistence between Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East. ALLMEP works to raise awareness about the work of the member organizations as well as to cultivate new and expanded resources to support the overall “grassroots” peace movement; importantly, it also advocates for the interests of ALLMEP members before US agencies, Congress, foreign governments and foundations. The Lodestar Foundation has provided a series of grants, first to formalize the umbrella organization and then to help develop a sustainable infrastructure to secure its future.
As the managers of two of the largest nonprofit information databases in the country, the Foundation Center and Guidestar USA Inc. share many similar assets. The organizations offer distinctive but complementary content and, while their audiences are also fairly distinct, some overlap occurs. The Lodestar Foundation funded a consultant to help the two organizations explore the ways in which they could work together on an ongoing basis seeking new opportunities to combine some of their data publishing activities in order to enable them to develop new services, generate additional revenue and reduce expenses. As a result of the consultant's report, the two organizations have engaged in a number of joint projects and initiatives and they collaborate and share information on an ongoing basis.
Homeless individuals in the Phoenix metro area were required to travel in different directions using public transportation to receive the various services necessary to help them re-enter mainstream society. As a result, many either never sought the services or only received partial and insufficient care. The Lodestar Foundation provided the lead private sector grant for the new Human Services Campus, which led to a $26,000,000 public/private collaboration to co-locate the area’s major homeless-serving agencies onto one campus. The heart of the campus is a jointly-administered assessment facility, the Lodestar Day Resource Center, where clients can coordinate access to a dozen agencies providing critical services such as health and dental care, employment, substance abuse treatment, food, shelter, clothes, and even court proceedings. The campus has exceeded all expectations, in terms of usage by the homeless, effectiveness in the delivery of services and cost-savings. The Campus has become a national model for other communities throughout the nation.
Six area synagogues, representing a range of movements from Orthodox to Reform, have joined forces along with various Jewish nonprofits to support Valley Beit Midrash, an innovative organization offering diverse educational programming in a pluralistic setting for adults, teens and young leaders. By bringing together a diverse cross-section of the community, the collaborative encourages greater cooperation and collaboration between different Jewish organizations and cultivates the next generation of Jewish leaders while teaching, modeling and inspiring the value of pluralism. The Lodestar Foundation provided two grants to support Valley Beit Midrash programming.
New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) and AfterSchool Works! New York (ASW) are state-wide organizations working to increase afterschool access and quality in New York State. Several board members overlap both organizations and they very work closely together. In 2014, NYSAN and AWS began exploring how they might structure a collaboration and benefit from their complementary expertise. The SeaChange-Lodestar fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the consulting fees.
Despite its tiny size, Rhode Island has a long and fascinating history and, as a result, several hundred cultural heritage groups of all sorts exist in the state, most of which are small, underfunded and understaffed. The Rhode Island Historical Society commissioned a study to explore ways for the various entities to work together to maximize impact. The study, which Lodestar supported, recommended cooperative programming, training programs and digital collaboration as proposed action items.
Planetree, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, three organizations with similar missions focused on compassionate, patient-centric humanistic healthcare, came together to explore creating a tool for the sector to evaluate the level of compassionate care being provided – the Compassionate Quotient (CQ) project. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund supported the cost of a consultant to facilitate the exploration.
Walden Theater operated a performing arts conservatory for middle and high school students, a small in-school performing arts program for elementary school students and a summer camp program in Louisville, Kentucky. Blue Apple Players, also based in Louisville, ran one of the largest in-school arts and education programs serving 25,000 pre-K and elementary school students each year. The two organizations had collaborated on programs for over a decade and shared many of their contracted artist staff. After having engaged in loose merger conversations for three years, the organizations merged, providing succession planning, a continuum of programs and substantial cost savings. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund supported the merger.
The United Way of Greater Toronto is one of the largest United Way locations in the world and the dominant funder in the city. The United Way of York Region is the northern part of Toronto; an area which, while historically separate, is now fully connected to Toronto given the population growth in the metro area. Not only do the two agencies fund some of the same community organizations, the people they serve, as well as their donors and volunteers, live and work on both sides of the boundary that separates Toronto and York Region. A grant from The Lodestar Foundation to explore a merger of these two United Way offices was a natural next step.
Fair Trade USA is the certifier of "Fair Trade" products in the United States which indicates to consumers that the supply chain for a given product gives farmers fair prices and workers safe conditions. Social Accountability International (SAI) was founded to advance the human rights of workers around the world. As the two leading organizations in the business of certifying and training in the "goodness" of factories, supply chains, etc., they began discussion of a merger to resolve succession issues and to increase the impact achieved by both organizations. A grant was made by The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration to partially fund consulting fees associated with the merger.
Two Jewish disaster relief nonprofits, Jewish Disaster Response Corps (JDRC) and NECHAMA (which is the Hebrew word for comfort), helped Americans affected by natural disasters, especially those who are un- or underinsured. With complementary programs, they merged into a single, Jewish-affiliated organization for domestic disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, with capacity to mobilize communities to volunteer during all stages of disaster. The combined organization realized gains in operational efficiency, continuum of services and program quality, and market positioning. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided partial funding for a consultant to assist with the merger.
Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Lung Cancer Research Foundation had a common mission: both organizations were dedicated to funding innovative lung cancer research toward finding a cure. Given their similarities in fundraising, and programs, they realized that a merger would enable both organizations to leverage their collective resources to have greater impact. A portion of the costs related to the merger was provided by The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.
Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) was a national counseling and scholarship organization helping newly retired dancers move into second careers. The Actor’s Fund (AF) provides assistance to performing arts and entertainment industry professionals including social services, healthcare, employment, housing, and emergency financial assistance. Despite its success, CTFD recognized that it needed to be part of a larger organization to sustain its programs. A merger with AF provided the answer for both organizations to have sustained growth and serve a larger population. The The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded some of the one-time costs of the merger.
Working in the Schools (WITS) and Boundless Readers (BR) were literacy organizations working in Chicago public schools. WITS connected students with working professionals that serve as mentors to 2,600 children across in 31 schools each year, while BR is focused on teachers, working with 63 school to provide professional development. The two organizations realized that they had complementary missions and audiences, and determined that a merger would provide succession planning, expanded programs, increased staff efficiency, increased fundraising opportunities, and some cost savings. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded some of the one-time costs of the merger.
Canadian Federation for Sexual Health (CFSH), Canadians for Choice (CFC), and Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) were three Canadian nonprofits providing complementary services in sexual and reproductive health. The organizations had partnered on many initiatives over the last decade and had loosely discussed the possibility of collaboration. After engaging a consultant to explore a formal merger, it quickly became apparent that a merger would yield better succession planning, more complementary programs, a stronger infrastructure and a differentiated donor base. Support for one-time costs associated with the merger was provided by the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.
An award-winning, non-profit media production company focused on education, Learning Matters (LM) had produced over 30 documentaries and hundreds of hours of reporting segments for PBS NewsHour. Supported almost entirely by private funding, LM needed a sustainable financial strategy when its founder announced his retirement. With the assistance of a consultant, an acquisition of LM was made by Editorial Projects in Education (EPE), the publisher of Education Week, considered by many to be the “go-to“ news source for the pre-k to 12th grade education sector. A portion of the costs related to the acquisition were funded through a grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.
CP Rochester (CPR) and Happiness House (HH) were organizations in upstate New York serving people with developmental disabilities. With common missions and overlapping services, they had been sharing a CEO and CFO for two years, after which they proceeded to fully merge. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded an administrative and executive staff-sharing partnership to support the merger.
Although at least a dozen adoption and foster care agencies in the metropolitan Phoenix area handle special needs children, there was no central place where adoptive and foster parents could find post-adoption support, information and services. One of the agencies, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK, www.aask-az.org), proposed the creation of an agency-independent resource center and public/private collaboration dedicated to connecting adoptive, foster care, kinship and guardianship families to resources, support, education and each other. This led to the creation of The Lodestar Family Connections Center at AASK (www.familyconnectionscenter.org). Although no longer operating as a physical one-stop-shop, participating agencies formed a joint website to coordinate services for foster care.
In 2005, San Diego-based Kids Included Together (KIT), a nonprofit organization that advocates for the inclusion of children with disabilities, sought to expand its work by opening a chapter in Los Angeles. Two years after the Los Angeles chapter’s launch, the new entity split from KIT and named itself All Kids Inc. (AKI). Over the years, KIT has grown into a national organization working in communities across the country. AKI, on the other hand, struggled to secure a strong financial footing. AKI approached KIT in 2013 to explore a merger. The merger provides KIT the opportunity to grow its programs in Los Angeles while strengthening AKI’s finances. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a challenge grant to fund one-time expenses related to the merger.
Communities Unlimited is the product of a merger between alt.Consulting and Community Resource Group (CRG), two nonprofits that work in hundreds of persistently poor communities across the South. By combining the two organizations’ strengths and services, Communities Unlimited is able to create vibrant and prosperous communities by launching a long-term initiative to build sustainable prosperity in communities across the region, as well as to continue the founding organizations’ work with small businesses, entrepreneurs and community water and wastewater systems.