Another idea to merge local not-for-profits

July 7, 2012

I applaud the Little Red Door Cancer Agency [June 18] in taking a step that many not-for-profits should consider: merging to better serve constituents and utilize donor contributions.

Nationally, we have one of the highest volunteerism rates and quantity of not-for-profits per capita. They could be empowered to create even greater results if our agencies efforts were consolidated.

As a not-for-profit leader, the conversation I go through when thinking about strategic mergers and partnerships is, “What other organizations serve the same audience, and would be willing to share?”

Take the Broad Ripple Art Fair, Talbot Street Art Fair, Penrod Art Festival, Indy Fringe Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Meridian Kessler Home Tour, DSI Dream Home Kick-Off and Decorators Show House, for example. Why not combine all of these events into one week-long massive independent art festival that celebrates the national Indie arts culture and highlights Indiana artists? Sell packages that give patrons access to all of the events, and combine marketing dollars to reach a larger audience and generate national attention. South by Southwest in Austin, anyone?

When the Indianapolis not-for-profit community takes steps to think this way, we will be unbeatable in how we impact lives through philanthropy and volunteerism.


Jamar Cobb-Dennard,

executive board member, Little Red Door Cancer Agency

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