Current partners will be a good fit for shared purpose, while providing complementary capabilities and donors. However, before beginning to identify good potential partners to merge with or acquire, NGO leaders need to clearly define the intent of the deal.
We see three major deal types in the NGO space:
Funding play. A complementary funding model brings advantages. For example, an organization primarily funded by restricted grants can benefit from combining forces with an NGO that emphasizes individual, unrestricted donations.
Geography play. Scale is becoming increasingly important not only for holistic change but for NGO survival. When scale is combined with speed, meeting SDGs within the next decade is within reach.
Domain play. Many NGOs have focused on a specific sector or domain, but combining complementary ones boosts speed, scale, and holistic change. A health NGO and an agriculture NGO, for example, can be more effective together in creating a synergistic cycle of good for populations in need.