NGO mergers and acquisitions: A growing trend?

Click here to see the slideshow.

The merger between Save the Children and Merlin hogged the headlines late last month.

But to some, the news didn’t come as a surprise. Over the last few years, several nongovernmental organizations have joined up to broaden their operations — if not survive — in an increasingly competitive aid market.

Some international NGOs, in fact, have been vocal about pursuing mergers and acquisitions. One example is ActionAid.

In its 2012-2017 strategy, ActionAid said it will “explore potential mergers within existing countries, where our ability to grow is limited by our resources or where our ability to increase our influence is constrained, looking for like-minded organizations to create a stronger national presence which is better able to deliver on this strategy.”

But even before the strategy came out, the organization already had a successful merger under its belt. In 2010, Danish nonprofit Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke became part of ActionAid International.

Plan International USA similarly sees acquisitions as a strategic measure.

“Oftentimes because we’re so focused on doing good and fulfilling our mission, we don’t think enough of our long-term view when it comes to making investments in ourselves,” Plan International USA CEO Tessie San Martin told Devex in November 2012 on the heels of her organization’s acquisition of  the Center for Development and Population Activities. “We need to start looking at acquisitions as strategic tools much more seriously than we have.”

To learn more about recent aid NGO mergers and acquisitions, click the above slideshow.

Are you aware of other recent examples of NGO mergers and acquisitions? Let us know by placing your comments below.

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About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.

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