"This merger is a case study in brilliance of collaboration." -- Christy Wilson, executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune's David Garrick.
June 19, 2013: When Laurin Pause (below left, with husband, Greg), executive director of the 31-year-old Community Resource Center in Encinitas, announced last winter that she was retiring on July 1, the routine response of seeking a new ED was sidetracked. As reporter David Garrick write, "during a discussion of possible partnerships," Rick Batt, CEO of 34-year-old Interfaith Community Services in Escondido, the two executives noticed "the many similarities between the two agencies." At left, Batt (on left) with Escondido mayor Sam Abed (on right) at the December 2012 opening of Interfaith's Haven House, a homeless shelter.
On Monday (June 17), Interfaith and CRC announced they will merge on July 1 (they will continue to use their own names); the two boards will also merge, Batt will lead the new agency.
...Their combined annual budget will be nearly $15 million, making it the largest social service nonprofit in North County and among the top 15 in the county. “We’ll be able to get more grants and serve more people because we’ll have more leverage,” said Pause. “A $15 million charity can compete with Catholic Charities and other large agencies.”
Leaders of the two groups said the decision to merge was prompted by a desire to save money by reducing overhead, and to gain more leverage in seeking grants that require agencies to have large workforces and multiple sites...the merger will allow them to expand their programs for low-income people, veterans, the homeless, victims of domestic violence and others who need assistance...[and will include] opening satellite centers across North County over the next two years...
The merged agency will have one payroll system...one computer system and complete one annual audit...the finance and fundraising functions will also be combined... No employees will be laid off, partly because both nonprofits have avoided filling vacancies in recent months while exploring the potential merger...
Christy Wilson, executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, said she expected her charity — the county’s third largest community foundation — to give at least as much to the merged agency as it has given to the agencies separately.
“They’re going to widen their regional impact, and we’d rather support one really strong organization for more money,” Wilson said. “I think this merger is a case study in brilliance of collaboration.”