Chamber Mergers: Lessons Learned

At a recent best practices session with a dozen of seasoned chamber CEO's the topic of mergers was addressed.

With a sluggish economy it was suggested that there will probably be more mergers or outright closings of chambers in the future, not less.

Let's start with a couple of facts:

  • There are over 7,000 chambers of commerce in this country
  •  Local chambers are in competition with each other

Now that we can agree that mergers are inevitable in our business, as discussed in this session, I thought I'd share a few comments from the panel.

The following statements we're made:

  • Most difficult thing I've ever done!
  • Put people on your board who can be change agents
  • You may not have a job at the end of it
  • It's emotional
  • In today's global economy there will be more mergers in the future
  • Address all the issues
  • You must believe in the merger
  • Potential companies don't look at community lines, it's bigger than that

But at the end of they day, you need to do what’s best for the organization and the surrounding community.

Can you come up with any partnerships with surrounding chambers of commerce?

For some research on the subject of nonprofit mergers by the Stanford Social Innovation Review go HERE.