Stronger Together: How A Merger Brought Greater Stability and Sustainability


Finding common ground for a partnership

Person to Person (P2P) provides emergency assistance for basic needs (in the form of financial assistance, food and clothing, or household necessities), and support for individuals and families as they move towards stability. Its peer, Christian Community Action (CCA) was a smaller agency providing similar services to P2P in a neighboring town and was concerned with its long-term sustainability.

P2P and CCA shared a positive working relationship and similar missions. They saw several potential benefits to a merger:

  • Stronger service delivery
  • Increased geographic presence
  • Higher public profile
  • More strategic fundraising
  • A stronger catalyst for community change
  • Better economies of scale


Thoughtful planning leads to successful integration

An important driver of success with mergers is following a well-planned process that fosters honest conversations. Working with The Strategy Group, the executive teams developed and facilitated a merger committee, comprised of leadership staff and board members, that worked diligently to envision a merged organization that was greater than the sum of the two separate organizational parts. The merger and post-merger work focused ensured successful implementation with the integration of the boards, programs, systems, and cultures.

Since the merger, P2P has:

 Grown substantially in terms of both service delivery and management strength

    – In 2012 CCA gave $25,000 in financial assistance and provided food for 275,000 meals. 

    – In 2018 P2P will have distributed more than $100,000 in emergency assistance and food for more than 550,000 meals.

 Expanded its operations and efficiency

 Increased clients served and range of services offered

“The Strategy Group team is highly competent at keeping a disparate group moving forward. Led by Debra who listens, synthesizes, and redirects the group as and when appropriate, they are always prepared, process oriented, and unfazed by discordant group dynamics, if and when they arise.”

Nancy Coughlin, CEO | Person to Person


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