Legal Guide to NFP Mergers
9 July 2015 at 10:45 am
A legal toolkit has been developed to assist charities and Not for Profit organisations in undertaking a merger.
“Mergers can be very rewarding, but require significant time and resources in order to be done successfully,” charity law expert at Mills Oakley Lawyers, Vera Visevic said.
“The toolkit reflects our experience and that is that many more Not for Profits are coming to us asking about mergers, finding merger partners and what’s involved in the process.
“Many organisations come to us with no idea of the complexity around mergers and the huge undertaking around legal and administrative issues.
“Many people need to co-operate for a successful merger. Both boards need to be on the same page as well as everyone else in the organisation.”
She said that many mergers fail because when d-day arrives they realise that there will be a loss of staff and the issues often become personal.
“Politics and ego can often get in the way,” Visevic said.
The merger toolkit delivers nine steps towards a successful merger from a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through to the ‘deed of merger’ and the settlement process.
In May two major children’s charities, Save the Children and Good Beginnings merged in a move they said would create one of Australia's largest agencies working to improve the lives of children in disadvantaged communities.
Good Beginnings specialises in providing early intervention and practical parenting programs for children in disadvantaged communities, and Save the Children works around Australia and in more than 120 countries delivering humanitarian aid.
"There are no simple answers or quick fixes to the complex issues that children face in vulnerable communities. That’s why we have been working on a 10 year strategy,” CEO of Good Beginnings Australia, Jayne Meyer Tucker said.
“Now, by joining with Save the Children an opportunity exists to leverage our joint expertise and local knowledge. Together we can broaden our reach, drive systemic change and become greater advocates for children and their rights.”
"Both organisations have recognised the opportunity to work together on a shared bold goal for children in Australia,” Save the Children's CEO Paul Ronalds told Pro Bono Australia News.
“I think the (Not for Profit) sector needs to face up to the challenges we have, such as increased stakeholder expectations, the technical challenges of finding and retaining donors and maintaining programs as well as the tough funding environment.
“These issues are hitting us all at once and only agile organisations that adapt to these changing conditions will survive. All organisations need to examine what their value-add is and how this can affect their mission."
The Merger toolkit can be downloaded HERE