Regional Human Service Agencies

Regional Human Service Agencies


Two urban community centers had evolved, along with the communities they served, as major providers of human services in geographically adjacent communities. While their operating budgets had grown dramatically (combined $25M+), their governing boards and leadership structures hadn’t evolved in ways that gave them (and their funders) confidence that they could sustain themselves. The boards decided to merge in order to achieve greater scale that would allow both for efficiencies and investments to ensure their long-term viability.


Though they each ran parallel programs, the two agencies preparing to merge had markedly different organizational structures and cultures. They each had antiquated systems. And uncertainty around who might lead the merged agencies and their many areas of operation raised sensitive issues.


Plan A Advisors facilitated a merger planning process over a 10-month period that began with the development of a shared vision for programs and services and that engaged teams of staff at various levels from both institutions in crafting recommendations around merging programs, operations, financial management and organizational cultures that were incorporated into a comprehensive Plan of Merger that was implemented following approval by both boards.

Product &

• Formed a steering committee composed of board and staff responsible for endorsing all major decisions and the Plan of Merger
• Invited the entire board and all full-time staff to a day-long retreat to find common ground and establish a shared vision for their united future
• Empowered dual-agency staff task force groups to consider and make recommendations around merging programs, operations and financial management along with myriad related issues; and empowered a board task force to recommend new governance and leadership models
• Crafted a detailed Plan of Merger (120+ pages) with sections on name and identity; organizing philosophy and organizational structure; governance structure; program portfolio; facilities management, transportation and security; financial and technology systems; member relations and volunteer management; community relations, and internal and external marketing & communications; human resource management; fundraising and more.
• Drafted the merged organization’s new by-laws
• Drafted the RFP for a name/brand/identity consultant
• Developed presentations for board and staff