November 2019
February 2021
Bryan Orander, President, Charitable Advisors
M.A.K.E.R.: A Compelling Framework for a Quick Collaboration/Merger Assessment
Like many of you, I have attended a lifetime of webinars in the past nine months. While they all provided great insights, one hosted by Bridgespan Group provided a useful framework on mergers and collaborations that’s definitely worth sharing.
With Charitable Advisors supporting about one merger/collaboration a year, we are familiar with the ins and outs of these unions. Yet, we view each potential arrangement as unique with many factors to be explored. Leaders who have not been engaged in these types of discussions may easily dismiss nonprofit mergers as a “financial and legal transaction.” However, they are much more akin to building a “relationship of trust” — ensuring that clients will continue to be served well, staff will be retained and supported, and funder/donor obligations will be honored. 
M.A.K.E.R. Framework
During its webinar, a panelist introduced the M.A.K.E.R. framework, one that can help your organization think through your own readiness for a potential match with another nonprofit. Here is an overview of the questions to ask under the M.A.K.E.R. framework:
Mission – What are we seeking to accomplish? What are our aspirations for the people we serve? Are we seeking similar outcomes? Do we have similar values?

Assets – Hard assets are the easiest to count (real estate, reserve funds) but soft assets might be the most important (board and staff leadership, expertise, intellectual property, reputation, funder relationships, social media presence). How could these be combined and leveraged to accomplish more?

Keepers – Culture, work rhythms and expectations, board/staff dynamic. What are the “must haves” if we were to join forces? What would we not give up or not allow to happen? This is easy to overlook in the early conversations when everyone is enthralled with the idea and perceiving similar thinking. Issues pop up later when choices need to be made to do things “our way,” “your way” or a “new way”.

Event – Why now? Most completed mergers are initiated by an event that is disrupting the status quo - an upcoming leadership transition, a funding opportunity or impending loss, a change in community needs, or the imminent closing of a nonprofit. It is often difficult to generate enough energy or political will to make a major change without some driving event.

Reality – What do we know about ourselves and the other party? Are we both self-aware enough and trusting enough to admit our weaknesses and needs in addition to our strengths and assets? Is our reputation not that stellar, is our ED not that solid? How does a combination create an organization that can produce a bigger impact?
Consider this in two parts:

  1. How would your organization, independent of a partner, detail your responses to these questions?
  2. Think about a nonprofit that you or someone on your team have mentioned as a potential community partner and try to gauge what their responses might be to these questions.

You may find that you have a partner right in front of you or that you are looking in the wrong place. This could prompt you to seek a partner who is more mission aligned and complementary without looking as much like you. 
To learn more, please contact Bryan Orander or 317-752-7153

Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Survey is Open
Please Participate in the Nonprofit Salary Survey
Charitable Advisors is excited to be launching the information gathering phase of our 6th Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Survey, supported this cycle by National Bank of Indianapolis, FirstPerson Advisors, VonLehman CPA & Advisory and Charitable Allies. The survey will be open for the month of February.
Nonprofit staff and board leaders tell us they continually look to our salary survey report to assist in hiring and budgeting decisions around compensation and benefits. The 2021 survey has been streamlined to shorten the completion process but still covers 26 common positions.
There is no cost to participate. To encourage and reward participation, contributing organizations will receive the full report, at no cost, in July 2021. For non-participating organizations and the general public, a summary of the results will be placed on the Charitable Advisors website in September.
We already have over 150 contacts who have agreed to complete the survey. Please provide the appropriate contact for your organization to Julie Struble 
Nonprofit Pandemic Resource Page - Every nonprofit leader is dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. Charitable Advisors is continually reviewing available information, adding it to our resource page and sharing it in the Not-for-profit News.
Succession Planning Isn’t Just For Retirement Anymore -- February 17

Whether you are a nonprofit ED/CEO beginning to think about your retirement timeline or a board or staff leader who wants to be sure your organization has laid the appropriate groundwork for a successful transition. There will be time for extended Q&A about how you can prepare your organization and your board and staff teams for a near-term or future leadership transition. Register

Toxic Workplace Culture:
What do YOU do? -- February 18

Presented by Jeremy York, we will discuss workplace toxicity and why it isn’t an imaginary problem. Participants will learn strategies for affecting change, addressing toxic workplace behaviors, and identifying signs of a toxic workplace. Overall, you’ll understand how toxicity impacts workplace cultures and the cost of avoidance. Register 

Securing the Future Conference – March 4

Securing the Future is a great nonprofit conference in Cincinnati that we discovered in 2008 and have been a part of several times since then. This year, Bryan will be doing a session on succession planning and leadership transition as one of 15 to 20 speakers across multiple tracks. All sessions are virtual! There’s no need to drive to Cincinnati. Register 

We want to recognize board leaders
For most board members, board leadership roles come with a commitment and investment of time and resources to support a cause they care about. However, for the individual who steps up to serve as board president or chair, the role comes with the assumption of overall responsibility for the nonprofit and guiding the organization’s path forward.  

As we continue to share news of board leaders who have taken the helm, we encourage you to recognize and thank these individuals for tackling the role, because as a community member you recognize the value of his or her investment to help keep the sector strong.  

If you want to announce your organization’s new board leader, please send name, position and a head shot HERE.

We are open to other ways we can support and recognize board leaders. Send us your thoughts or tell us a story about a board leader who has made a difference in your organization. Share your ideas with Bryan Orander, president.
Latrice Booker
Dean, IU Northwest Library
Jon Desalvo
President and CEO, Arcamed
Brent Wake
VP for Public Policy & Alliance Initiatives, Indiana Alliance of YMCAs
Jeff Curtis
Certified Dream Manager,
The Watermark Group
Who else needs to know this information?
Tell your staff, board of directors and colleagues about Frontline Perspectives by forwarding this email.