Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare were two strong, financially solid organizations who together served all eight counties in the State of CT. The two organizations had complementary missions and a history of working together well. In 2020, Connecticut Food Bank found itself in the midst of a leadership transition and the two organizations decided the time was right to start serious merger discussions. The Strategy Group (TSG) was hired to facilitate merger discussions and to help map out what a new organization could look like. The process came down to listening, learning, visioning, deciding, and moving forward. Over and over again. Want to see how it worked? Check out our process and their outcome here.

In May of 2022, TSG’s Debra Hertz facilitated a conversation with the principals from Connecticut Foodshare on how they handled the “make or break moments” to maximize the merger’s impact and success. Some overall key learnings from the webinar:

  1. Respect the process. It matters.
  2. Leadership (both staff and board) is essential.
  3. Culture is key.
  4. Walk through the pain. The process is hard.
  5. Trust matters. Take the time to get to know each other.
  6. Assume good intentions.
  7. Don’t hide the hard stuff.
  8. Mergers take a significant investment of money, time and resources.

For those who weren’t able to join us, we want to make life a little bit easier for you by making the resources available to you here.

Below please find the video:

About Our Presenters:
Beth Henry
Beth Henry is Connecticut Foodshare’s Board Chair and is Vice President of U.S. Business Marketing for Cigna. Beth has over 20 years of experience in health care and financial services. She has successfully managed diverse functions in marketing, finance, underwriting, sales support, and strategic planning.

Pastor Alfred Watts
Pastor Alfred Watts is the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone where The Storehouse Food Pantry is active today, a ministry he began in 2002. A native of New Haven, CT, Pastor Watts attended the Howard University School of Law and practiced corporate law for many years before choosing to focus on his ministry full time.

Jason Jakubowski
A lifelong Connecticut resident, Jason Jakubowski is both an accomplished nonprofit executive and a nationally recognized community leader. Jason Jakubowski has been the President & CEO of Connecticut Foodshare since the two organizations merged in January of 2021. With a dedicated team of 110 employees and more than 8,000 volunteers, CFB/Foodshare distributes more than 40 million meals each year through a statewide network of 700+ community-based agencies. Previous to the merger, Jason served as President & CEO of Foodshare since 2017. Throughout his tenure, Foodshare was named a “Top Workplace” by the Hartford Courant three times, as well as and Connecticut’s “Best Charity for Your Money” by business.org.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@thestrategygroupllc.org if we can answer any follow up questions or be of any assistance. And if you would like to set up a free 30-minute call with Debra, please use this link: https://calendly.com/dwhertz/time-with-debra. We are here for you!

Additional resources:

Feeding America

When and Why Should Nonprofits Consider a Merger?

The Nuts and Bolts of Doing a Nonprofit Merger

How to Implement a Nonprofit Merger