Charity: when 1 + 1 had to become 3
Two leading charities dealing with the same category of beneficiary, provided different services to those beneficiaries. Both charities were chasing the same funding. Both were umbrella organisations who supported numerous smaller charities, many of which were facing competition for funding AND beneficiaires from other charities. Various interests meant that one charity 'taking over' another would not work and so a third new charity was set up which took over the existing two charities. In effect a merger of the two existing charities.
The New Charity enabled the beneficiaries to receive an holistic set of services from one source. Funders and service procurers gained too. The New Charity encompassed the best of both charities.
First, the trustees of each charity had to be encouraged to work with the Senior Management Teams of their existing charities. For one trustee board in particular, this was a new way of working. Secondly, the two trustee boards and two sets of Management Teams had to work with each other. Thirdly, a rigorous project management approach took place as to the feasibility of the New Charity, an approach to risk was introduced, a detailed project plan was developed, and the Magic Merger Moments, for measuring the success of the New Charity, included a timeline which ended some years AFTER the date that the New Charity began operating.
Why the Project Succeeded
Individual 'political' issues were addressed swiftly, the trustees refocused on the future for the beneficiaires, and the long term goals of the New Charity were assessed, agreed and work began on those immediately, before the New Charity was in place.