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(Updated February 2017)

Mergers and partnerships can be advantageous to a Board or Association for a variety of reasons, including: overlapping markets, similar services, geographic considerations, cost-savings, membership benefits and wider recognition in the marketplace. And with NAR's Organizational Alignment Core Standards, more boards and associations may be looking at mergers as a viable option. In fact, some local associations that are considering a merger are even considering a “chapter” structure in order to preserve their identity. This Field Guide will provide you with information regarding association mergers as well as information specific to REALTOR® Association mergers. Plus, you're sure to uncover valuable information pertaining to nonprofits in the collection of eBooks offered to you for free from NAR's eBook collection. (K. Bartlett Walsh, Senior Quality Assurance/Customer Advocate)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Alternativ​es to a Merger

  • Cooperative ventures – a separate entity owned and operated by two or more local associations.
  • Alliances/joint partnerships – when two or more associations establish a framework within which all or certain types of future program or service collaborations will operate.
  • Shared services – when two or more associations agree to share the costs of providing an ongoing member service.
  • Overlay – cooperation between two or more associations for for a new NAR-recognized association that focuses on the delivery of one area of service to a unique subset of members.

Source: Elements of a Successful Merger (National Association of REALTORS® 2011).

Also see: Chapter Formation – some local associations that are considering a merger may choose a “chapter” structure to preserve their identity.

Information Abo​ut Association Mergers

Chapter Restructuring: A Board’s Most Difficult Job?, (Associations Now, Jan./Feb. 2016).

How Far is Too Far? Collaborations, Mergers and Everything in Between, (Governance Directions, Nov. 1, 2015). E

Partnership Helps REALTOR® Chapters Fulfill “Core Standards” Requirements, (Associations Now, Aug. 18, 2015).

Members Win When Chapters and Associations Get Along, (Associations Now, May 6, 2015).

Association Mergers: And then there Was One, (Associations Now, Dec. 2014).

The Mechanics of Association Mergers, (Associations Now, Dec. 2014).

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Affiliations Involving Nonprofits: Not Typical M&A Transactions, (Business Law Today, June 2014). E

Good Learners: How Top Management Teams Affect the Success and Frequency of Acquisitions, (Strategic Management Journal, Jun. 15, 2012). E

Strength in Numbers – REALTOR® Associations Merging in Response to Declining Membership Roles, (Westchester County Business Journal, Dec. 19, 2011). E

Nonprofit Mergers – Assessing the Motivations and Means, (Journal of Leadership Studies, Jan 1. 2010). E

Collaboration, Not Competition (Associations Now, Mar. 2013)

Culture Combination: The People Side of Association Mergers (Associations Now, July 2012).

Mergers and Acquisitions:  Finding the Perfect Suitor (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Aug. 2009).

Helpful Websites/Information​ Resources for REALTOR® Associations

Core Standards for State and Local Associations, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Changing a Board’s Jurisdiction, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Association Merger Procedure, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Name Change Procedure for Local Boards/Associations, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

New Member Association Formation, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Voluntary Dissolution of a Member Association, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

REALTOR® Association Models Online Planning Tool, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

REALTOR® Association Resource Exchange (RARE), (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Core Standards FAQ Supplement – January 2016, (National Association of REALTORS®, Jan. 2016).

Plan now for a Smooth 2016, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Fall 2015).

D.A.N.G.E.R. Report Guides Association Strategic Planning, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Fall 2015).

REALTOR® Association in Northern Palm Beach Merging with Miami Association of REALTORS®,  (South Florida Business Journal, Aug. 21, 2015).

REALTOR® Associations in Springfield, Jacksonville to Merge, (The State Journal Register, May 18, 2015).

Countdown to Compliance, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Spring 2015).

Merger Creates ‘Suncoast REALTOR® Association’ on Florida’s Gulf Coast, (Philly Weekly, Sept. 23, 2014).

Merger Kit, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2014).

Core Standards Resource – Simplified Mergers, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2014).

Our Merger:  How It All Started (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Summer 2014).

Florida MLS Dissolved While Merger Trend Remains (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Summer 2013).

2010 Local Association Compensation Survey, (National Association of REALTORS®, July 5, 2012).

Elements of a successful merger, (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Winter 2011).

Essential Merger Docs (National Association of REALTORS®, 2011).

eBooks & Other Resources​

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers: Controlling Fear, Commanding Attention (Overdrive Digital Audiobook)

The ask - how to ask for support for your non-profit cause, creative project or business venture (Adobe eReader)

Breakthrough thinking for non-profit organizations - creative strategies for extraordinary results (Adobe eReader)

The budget building book for non-profits - a setp-by-step guide for managers and boards (Adobe eReader)

Building Better Boards (Adobe eReader)

Cash and investment management for non-profit organizations (Adobe eReader)

Cash flow strategies - innovation in non-profit organizations (Adobe eReader)

Complete non-profit corporation kit (Adobe eReader)

Creating and implementing your strategic plan - a workbook for public and non-profit organizations (Adobe eReader)

The executive director's guide to thriving as a non-profit leader (Adobe eReader)

Financial management for non-profit organizations - policies and practices (Adobe eReader)

Harvard Business Review on Nonprofits (Adobe eReader)

The high performance board - principles of nonprofit organization governance (Adobe eReader)

How to manage a non-profit organization - from writing and managing grants to fundraising, board development and strategic planning (Adobe eReader)

Human Resource Policies and Procedures for Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Human Resources Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Improving Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Making critical decisions - a practical guide for non-profit organizations (Adobe eReader)

Managing Risk in Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Model policies and procedures for not-for-profit organizations (Adobe eReader)

Nonprofit Boards that Work (Adobe eReader)

The non-profit board answer book - a practical guide for board members and chief executives (Adobe eReader)

Non-profit strategic planning (Adobe eReader)

Not-for-Profit Budgeting and Financial Management (Adobe eReader)

The not-for-profit CEO - how to attain and retain the corner office (Adobe eReader)

Presentation Skills for Managers (Adobe eReader)

Say it Like Shakespeare: How to Give a Speech Like Hamlet, Persuade Like Henry V, and Other Secrets from the World's Greatest Communicator (Mobipocket)

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Partnering intelligence - creating value for your business by building strong alliances, (Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publishing, 1999). HD 69 D43

Trusted partners - how companies build mutual trust and win together, (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1999). HD 69 L58

Basics of association mergers, (Glen Allen, VA: Virginia Association of REALTORS®, 1995). HF 296 V81

Field Guides & More

These Field Guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Association Shared Services

Field Guide to Communication for Associations

Field Guide to Investment Planning for Associations

Field Guide to Real Estate Office Mergers

Field Guide to Strategic Planning for Associations

Information Services Blog

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