How a midsize NGO creates 'mergers from strength and power'

By Aimee Rae Ocampo 14 April 2014

East Meets West President John Anner at the Thien Phuoc Orphanage in Vietnam, one of the beneficiaries of the organization’s health care programs. Anner said EMW looks at three criteria before considering a merger. Photo by: East Meets West

For the past couple of years, discussions on the future of international nongovernmental organizations have painted a bleak future for the “squeezed middle”— midsize NGOs with a specific technical specialization or that are highly dependent on a specific funding source.

East Meets West is trying to dispel that notion.

Based in Oakland, California, this midsize NGO focuses on delivering health, education, and water and sanitation programs in South and Southeast Asia. Last year, East Meets West merged with Blue Planet Network — a partnership forged around the same time that Save the Children merged with Merlin, which instigated a buzz about merger and acquisition potential in the NGO and international development community.

Instead of completely folding into EMW, however, Blue Planet Network retained its name, brand, website and email address and has become a division of the firm. Lisa Nash, who is the executive director of Blue Planet Network, kept her title and has also become chief marketing officer of East Meets West.

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About the author

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Aimee Rae Ocampo

In her role as editor for business insight, Aimee creates and manages multimedia content and cutting-edge analysis for executives in international development. As the manager of Development Insider, Devex's flagship publication for executive members, she is constantly on the lookout for the latest news, trends and policies that influence the business of development.


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