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Nonprofit mergers seen as underutilized

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Ret Boney

As the number of charities grows, and the recession takes a bite out of charitable dollars, mergers should be considered as a way to save money and improve services, says a new report from London-based New Philanthropy Capital.

Almost two in three charities in Britain with annual incomes over $1.6 million are worried about the economic crisis, but only three percent have considered merging, says a survey by the Charity Commission.

“There are too few mergers in the charity sector, in part because it’s a taboo subject,” John Copps, author of the report, says in a statement. “The most important question is not what works best for the charity, it’s what works best for all the people that charities intend to help.”

The report contains examples of organizations and fields ripe for merger, including breast-cancer organizations, which have similar missions but spend money and compete to raise funds.

New Philanthropy suggests board member consider whether a merger could benefit a charity’s mission, even if that means their organization may cease to exist.

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