Ep 89: Nonprofit Partnerships, Mergers, and Acquisitions (with Wendy Foster)

by Joan Garry

Find out how partnerships can succeed and when they might fail and learn the origin story of the successful partnership between Uber and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.


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For more than 100 years, Big Brothers and Big Sisters has created a massive “army” of champions and advocates at the ready (“bigs”) to support an equally massive army of kids (“littles”) for whom these adults are a lifeline.

Today, Wendy Foster, CEO of BBBS of Massachusetts Bay tells us about her work with nonprofit mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships.

Successful change management requires a vision of the end-result. In this podcast we discuss the ways in which the power of the mission and donor relationships work together to affect sustainable change, how to structure an equitable leadership after a transition, and how to merge different organizational cultures.

Find out how corporate partnerships can succeed and when they might fail. Learn the origin story of the successful partnership between Uber and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

If you partner with any other organization in any way, shape, or form, this is a podcast you don’t want to miss.

About Wendy Foster:

Wendy Foster is CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in New England with a 70-year history of helping under-resourced children thrive through transformational one-to-one relationships with adult mentors. Since becoming CEO in 2009, she has led the agency to significantly increase revenue and the number of children served, with plans to double service in the next phase of growth. Foster is nationally recognized for her leadership and expertise within the Big Brothers Big Sisters nationwide network and has more than three decades of executive leadership in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Before transitioning to the non-profit sector in 2005, Foster served as a senior executive with America Online (AOL) and held management roles at a division of Time-Warner. She is an active leader in a number of community organizations, a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum and a Big Sister to Little Sister Shanell.

In this podcast

  • Transitioning from corporate to nonprofit.
  • Lessons learned in nonprofit mergers.
  • Being at the center of the wheel and how a collective effort is pivotal to execute on a great strategy.
  • Lessons learned on mitigating cultural differences between organizations.
  • How identifying what is needed from leadership in a local community contributes to success in leadership structure and balance.
  • Should the larger of two entities ultimately be in control?
  • How to make sure both parties are strengthened by a corporate partnership.
  • ERGs – The value of affinity groups in building relationships with corporations and make organizations stronger and more diverse.