#197 - Nonprofit Mergers + Acquisitions with Jess Cavagnero


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Most people think that when you merge nonprofits, or you’re making any significant changes in a nonprofit, it means that there’s terribly wrong that has happened. Right? But in this episode, my guest, Jess Cavagnero, a partner of SeaChange Capital Partners, dispels some of these misconceptions. Jess and I will talk about the hows, whys and whats of mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships. This is a must-listen for leaders who are looking to lead with “strategery”

To connect with Jess: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-cavagnero-9b826613b/

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

SeaChange Website - https://seachangecap.org/

SeaChange LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/seachangecap/

Sustained Collaboration Network - https://www.sustainedcollab.org/



“Over the last 10 years, the trend has really shifted, where nonprofits are pursuing mergers… There's a whole spectrum of partnerships that we should be talking about.” - Jess Cavagnero

“So there are best practices from the investment banking side that can be a disservice to nonprofit mergers or collaborations… because they're played out in the wrong moment in time.” - Jess Cavagnero

“So there's something called the Sustained Collaboration Network, which if you're a fundraiser listening to this, you should write down because it's a network of all of the funders who actually make grants to support this work.” - Jess Cavagnero

“Nonprofits who came out of this period in the pandemic have so much extra cash because they were able to really shrink down to their essential costs and had so much emergency funding come in… This is a good opportunity to grow.” - Jess Cavagnero

“If you're looking to become part of something, what's your offer? What's the value of your program team? Who's on your board?” - Jess Cavagnero

“So what's the challenge or the opportunity or the thing that you're trying to solve for? And it's important to know it upfront because you will fill the space that you have.” - Jess Cavagnero

“The analogy that is most often used when people talk about nonprofit mergers is dating and weddings. I think it holds here. You can't go out looking for a long-term partner if you aren't totally solid in who you are…” - Jess Cavagnero

“When two organizations are working together, even if they do the same thing in the same place, and they have overlapping staff, they might put their yogurt in a different place, in the fridge. That is going to create friction that needs to be addressed early and continually.” - Jess Cavagnero


TOPIC: Talking About the Concept of Mergers and Acquisitions

02:31 - 03:48

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