United Way merges with Hands on Greater PortlandIn the world of for-profit corporations, mergers often streamline supply chains by creating synergy between companies with complementary strengths. The same principle can be seen at work in the nonprofit world as well. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, one of the largest fundraising organizations in the Portland, Oregon, metro area, recently merged with Hands On Greater Portland, which is one of the most successful volunteer organizations in the city.

Keith Thomajan, president and CEO of United Way, announced the merger to board members recently and stated the merger was strengths-based, resulting in a powerful nonprofit presence in the region, according to Portland Business Journal.

“This merger gives us the horsepower and reach to move Portland/Vancouver metro region to the front of the pack nationally, both for total number of volunteer connections and also in terms of innovation and impact,” Thomajan said in a press release.

The merger is expected to eliminate close to $200,000 in administrative expenses and cement Portland's reputation as a city that is filled with people willing to volunteer, the Business Journal stated. The two companies began talks four months ago when Andy Nelson, the former executive director of Hands On, left to take a position with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Columbia Northwest organization.

The merger of Stateline United Way and United Way of North Rock County was recently made official, increasing the organization's reach in the southeastern Wisconsin area.
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