"A traditional merger generally means that one organization ceases to exist. We wanted each of the organizations involved."
By Rebecca Keister PBN Staff Writer
Anne Nolan is president of Crossroads Rhode Island, which announced in February an affiliation with The Women’s Center of Rhode Island in order to better serve their overlapping client base and specifically to address the connection between domestic violence and homelessness.
The organizations are remaining separate nonprofit entities, but will pool resources on efforts such as marketing and fundraising.
PBN: Your organizations have formed an affiliation for collaborative work. How is this different than a more traditional organizational merger?
NOLAN: A traditional merger generally means that one organization ceases to exist. We wanted each of the organizations involved, Crossroads Rhode Island and the Women’s Center of Rhode Island (a member of The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence), to maintain their own identities. This affiliation allows both organizations to draw on and benefit from each other’s strengths and is not at the expense of either. We will be able to provide better services in a more efficient and effective manner.
PBN: Why are The Women’s Center of Rhode Island and Crossroads Rhode Island particularly well situated to work together?
NOLAN: This affiliation addresses the connection between domestic violence and homelessness and will help both agencies provide better services to meet the extraordinary needs of individuals and families with domestic violence histories. Both organizations provide services that help empower vulnerable individuals and families to overcome homelessness and live safe, self-sufficient lives free of violence. Both agencies recognize that this population has a continuum of need that is broader than either organization can meet on its own, and by working together, we can improve the quality and accessibility of services for the people we serve.
PBN: How much of the population that Crossroads Rhode Island currently serves are domestic violence victims?
NOLAN: We know that 90 percent of the women in our Women’s Shelter have experiences some sort of violence in their past. It is an issue for a significant number of families seeking assistance at Crossroads as well.
PBN: Does this affiliation better position you for grants and other funding sources?
NOLAN: By strengthening both organizations programs and services, and delivering them more efficiently, we believe this affiliation will put us in a stronger position for funding from many different types of donors and funders in the community.
PBN: Will there be any staff losses or changes from this affiliation?