SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Merging an NGO - Experience and
Reality
Lessons learned from mergers
Christian Meyer
zu Natrup
Managing Director
EU & Germany
TODAY
• Overview
• What do we mean with „merger“?
• What makes it a success?
• What makes it fail?
Presentation with 10 slides followed by Q&A and
discussion.
Content is free to share.
1. Overview
• UK: 58 mergers involving 116 organisation in 2018/19 –
with over half (54%) involving small non-profits under
GDP1m
• USA: 112 mergers, involving 280 organisations (Early
reporting)
• Europe: 85 mergers, involving 350 organisations, often
part of change processes
• 2021 and 2022: We expect a substantial surge in EU-
non-EU structural mergers
“As government
funding dries
up, we need a
structure to
earn and raise
more income”
US top10 board member currently
preparing a change merger
2. What do we mean with merger
• Most NGO mergers are takeovers
out of financial trouble of one party,
with weaker NGO brand and ops
fading soon (face-saving
terminology)
• Most fail to deliver cost saving or
synergies
• Change mergers (new structures
creating) are those that tent to
work more often
• Expansion into new sector
• Expansion into new income market
• Change NGO structure
Merger of Equals
New Structure
Merger of Many
Takeover
Asset Transfer
Spin off & die well
3. What makes it a success
• Clarity on 1+1=3. What can we only do together?
• Synergies only materialise if
• clear leadership to overcome cultural and strategic “mesh and mess”
• strong financial and process integration expertise to quickly take advantage
of increased scale or depth
• Financial benefits should start rolling in within 6 months
• Cost reduced: Eliminate what is double (back office ops, programme
delivery)
• Fundraising brand usage: Merge your reach and increase income
• 90% of successful mergers had independent advice and evaluation
4. What makes it a failure
• Merger is means to an end. Consumes a lot of time and can become end in
itself
• Done from a position of weakness, takeover sold as merger
• Devil is in the detail – siloes and double structures happen often, become
entrenched and are costly (every day)
• Culture and Trust issues not managed by hesitant leadership trying to govern
too much by consensus
3. How to get it right
• M&A is a good tool to expand reach, income sources
and eliminate double structures in sector
• Post-Brexit merger surge: best way to access EU
funding is to be in the EU. Merging with an organisation
overcomes new-start up problems
• Focus on the money: Savings and income needs to be
materialise in within a few months
• Get it done: A protracted merger with lots of follow up
restructures erodes buy in and confidence.
Thank you!
Stay in touch!
CHRISTIAN MEYER ZU NATRUP
chris@mzninternational.com
Insight articles and
free events every month at:
www.mzninternational.com
Upcoming webinars:
USAID & EU Funding Updates and
Priorities for 2022 Webinar
14 December, 3-4 pm CET
Agile and Robustly Funded:
NGOs and International
Organizations Need New Ways
to Survive and Thrive
12 January, 1-2 pm CET
Latest insight articles:
Developing a Successful
Funding Strategy. Read here.

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Merging an NGO - Experience and Reality

  • 1. Merging an NGO - Experience and Reality Lessons learned from mergers
  • 2. Christian Meyer zu Natrup Managing Director EU & Germany TODAY • Overview • What do we mean with „merger“? • What makes it a success? • What makes it fail? Presentation with 10 slides followed by Q&A and discussion. Content is free to share.
  • 3. 1. Overview • UK: 58 mergers involving 116 organisation in 2018/19 – with over half (54%) involving small non-profits under GDP1m • USA: 112 mergers, involving 280 organisations (Early reporting) • Europe: 85 mergers, involving 350 organisations, often part of change processes • 2021 and 2022: We expect a substantial surge in EU- non-EU structural mergers “As government funding dries up, we need a structure to earn and raise more income” US top10 board member currently preparing a change merger
  • 4. 2. What do we mean with merger • Most NGO mergers are takeovers out of financial trouble of one party, with weaker NGO brand and ops fading soon (face-saving terminology) • Most fail to deliver cost saving or synergies • Change mergers (new structures creating) are those that tent to work more often • Expansion into new sector • Expansion into new income market • Change NGO structure Merger of Equals New Structure Merger of Many Takeover Asset Transfer Spin off & die well
  • 5. 3. What makes it a success • Clarity on 1+1=3. What can we only do together? • Synergies only materialise if • clear leadership to overcome cultural and strategic “mesh and mess” • strong financial and process integration expertise to quickly take advantage of increased scale or depth • Financial benefits should start rolling in within 6 months • Cost reduced: Eliminate what is double (back office ops, programme delivery) • Fundraising brand usage: Merge your reach and increase income • 90% of successful mergers had independent advice and evaluation
  • 6. 4. What makes it a failure • Merger is means to an end. Consumes a lot of time and can become end in itself • Done from a position of weakness, takeover sold as merger • Devil is in the detail – siloes and double structures happen often, become entrenched and are costly (every day) • Culture and Trust issues not managed by hesitant leadership trying to govern too much by consensus
  • 7. 3. How to get it right • M&A is a good tool to expand reach, income sources and eliminate double structures in sector • Post-Brexit merger surge: best way to access EU funding is to be in the EU. Merging with an organisation overcomes new-start up problems • Focus on the money: Savings and income needs to be materialise in within a few months • Get it done: A protracted merger with lots of follow up restructures erodes buy in and confidence.
  • 8. Thank you! Stay in touch! CHRISTIAN MEYER ZU NATRUP chris@mzninternational.com Insight articles and free events every month at: www.mzninternational.com Upcoming webinars: USAID & EU Funding Updates and Priorities for 2022 Webinar 14 December, 3-4 pm CET Agile and Robustly Funded: NGOs and International Organizations Need New Ways to Survive and Thrive 12 January, 1-2 pm CET Latest insight articles: Developing a Successful Funding Strategy. Read here.