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.
In 2016, Lodestar initiated the Lodestar Single Parent Scholarship to facilitate the ability of single parents with limited financial resources to attend an Arizona public institution of higher learning on a full-time basis (taking at least 27 credits per calendar year) for the purpose of completing an education that will provide them with a readily employable profession. The fund was established exclusively for the purpose of supporting single-parent living expenses (such as rent and child care) while attending school, and may not be used to support any academic expenses. In its inaugural year, three recipients are beneficiaries of Lodestar scholarships after completing a competitive application process managed by the Arizona Community Foundation.
Chris4Life was founded by Michael Sapienza following his mother’s death from colon cancer to serve as a national advocate to raise awareness and promote early screening of colorectal cancer. The Colon Cancer Foundation CCA was working to increase the rates of screening and survivorship from colorectal cancer. CCA and Chris4Life Sharing a belief that early detection and increased awareness are the key to fighting the disease, the two organizations decided to merge. A grant from the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration partially funded the one-time costs associated with the merger.
Mile High Community Loan Fund (MHCLF) and Funding Partners for Housing Solutions (FP) were Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Colorado. MHCLF and FP worked in close-collaboration over the years to maximize availability of capital for the benefit of low and moderate-income households across Colorado. SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a grant for the two entities to consolidate governance and management activities, while retaining their individual brands. In removing operational redundancies, the resulting organization has been able to recognize efficiencies to better leverage resources, while retaining the goodwill that led to their individual success.
A generation ago, Boston Harbor was miserably polluted, its 34 neglected harbor islands home to garbage and abandoned military bases. Thanks to decades of hard work led by the Boston Harbor Islands Alliance (BHIA) and The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA), the harbor and waterfront are now thriving, including a new Boston Harbor Island National Park. To build on their collective successes and meet new challenges brought on by sea level rise, BHIA and TBHA merged into a new organization. A SeaChange-Lodestar Fund grant supported the merger.
Combined, the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot had more than 60 years of experience fighting hunger in Arkansas, one of the most food-insecure states in the nation. Realizing that they had compatible missions, complementary programs and unique strengths, a merger of the two organizations was a natural next step. The combined nonprofit has realized efficiencies in operations and allowed assets to be redeployed to better serve food insecure individuals, children and families in Arkansas. The Lodestar Foundation provided partial funding for a consultant to help with the design and delivery of a comprehensive and strategic integration plan.
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) is one of the largest homeless services organizations in the State of California, with 22 locations from as far south as San Diego to as far north as San Luis Obispo, along with a new location soon to be established in San Jose. PATH approached Casa Esperanza, a full-service residential wellness center for people experiencing homelessness in the City of Santa Barbara, to merge into one organization. The combined organization will allow for significant leveraging of resources so that the two agencies can have a more significant impact on homelessness in Santa Barbara than either agency could have alone. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided an essential grant to offset a portion of the expenses associated with the merger.
The Wellness Community (TWC) and Gilda’s Clubs Worldwide were both leaders in the field of psychological, emotional and social support for cancer patients and their loved ones in different regions of the country. By consolidating the two networks of approximately 25 affiliates each, Gilda’s Club and TWC aimed to increase operating efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver program services at a staffing level and budget not significantly higher than either one of the two independent organizations. In addition, the boards hoped that the merged organization would have greater resources and influence to strengthen affiliate training, research, policy, and advocacy functions, and to spearhead advances in the field of cancer care. Merging in 2010, the two organizations took the name Cancer Support Community (CSC) and became the largest independent network of cancer support providers in the U.S. Since the merger, CSC has achieved significant programmatic and operational efficiencies, saving millions of dollars. Cost savings have made it possible for CSC to enhance both programming and infrastructure, especially with respect to integrating and expanding its online presence. The merger has catapulted CSC into the top ten cancer service providers in the country by both size of budget and number of patients served, enabling CSC not only to expand its policy and advocacy activities but, most important, to increase exponentially its impact in the cancer care field. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund provided a grant to facilitate the merger.
Two watershed groups focusing on stream health and water quality in the Rivanna River basin of central Virginia committed to consolidating into a single organization after having shared a significant history of partnership with complementary missions and work efforts. The Rivanna Conservation Alliance was established as the result of the merger of the two organizations. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the one-time costs for the collaboration.