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M&A in the nonprofit sector: managing merger negotiations and integration

David La Piana (President of La Piana Associates, Inc., a consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area that specializes in the strategic issues faced by nonprofit organizations and their funders. His books include The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part II – Unifying the Organization after a Merger (2004), Strategic Restructuring for Nonprofit Organizations: Mergers, Integrations and Alliances (2003), and The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part I – The Leader's Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger (2000).)
Michaela Hayes (Senior manager with La Piana Associates.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




Through research and first‐hand experience with more than one hundred nonprofit mergers in the past decade, the firm has developed a variety of tools to help nonprofit organizations determine whether to undertake merger negotiations, how to facilitate these negotiations, and how to integrate organizations post‐merger.


The authors have conducted more than 100 nonprofit mergers. They also interviewed board members and CEOs of nonprofits that have merged.


The critical differences between mergers in for‐profit and nonprofit sectors occur in the negotiations phase, which is where board members often play a key role.

Research limitations/implications

This article addresses the merger process, not the business case. More research is needed on the economic benefits of nonprofit mergers.

Practical implications

The article identifies best practices for nonprofit mergers.


This article alerts volunteer board members from the for‐profit sector to the essential differences they face facilitating mergers in the nonprofit sector and provides them with a step‐by‐step guide to success.



La Piana, D. and Hayes, M. (2005), "M&A in the nonprofit sector: managing merger negotiations and integration", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 11-16.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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