United Way CEO: merge nonprofits

October 23, 2008
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As the economy slows and money gets scarce, banks arenâ??t the only organizations that should consider merging.

Thatâ??s how United Way of Central Indiana CEO Ellen Annala sees the landscape.

The Indianapolis area has a whopping 16,000 not-for-profits, she says, one for about every 100 people living here.

Many are volunteer groups with no paid staff. Itâ??s the organizations with paid staff, boards, bookkeeping, audits and other expenses that worry her.

â??I do have some pretty strong feelings about this,â?? Annala says. â??Is there a more efficient use of nonprofit resources?â??

Some small organizations fill niches that wouldnâ??t fit well in other groups, she says. And thereâ??s always room for entrepreneurs to dream up good ideas. Overall, though, she says itâ??s time for organizations to start talking.

What do you think?
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  • I don't think there is any question as to whether non-profits should have this on there agenda. We know there are numerous agencies and programs offering similar services. There must be some alliances and economies of scale that will become a major part of the solution to diminishing resources. No doubt each believes they're approach is the best......... but for the sake of assuring those critical services continue in the future some new collaboration seems essential. We really do need to think differently about nearly everything we do these days and holding on to what worked last year or even last week will only stifle the new ideas that will support tomorrow. Let's not be too quick to protect our past success by refusing to find new and different ways of accomplishing the important things many non-profits are in place to do.

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