Our Services

Nonprofit Mergers

Navigating Nonprofit Mergers
with Care and Expertise

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What We Do

Today’s nonprofits work hard to grow impact while dealing with big changes – fewer donations, people giving differently, and less involvement by the business community. One way nonprofits are adapting is through consolidation. Humanergy’s Non-Profit Merger Team (NPMT) understands the complexities of coming together. We offer proven expertise and services to help nonprofit organizations move along the Continuum of Collaboration.

What We Know

Humanergy is a leadership development company that knows how to guide nonprofits through a merger. We put together a team of professionals experienced in both corporate and nonprofit mergers and acquisitions. In the past decade, this team directly guided United Ways in Michigan through three large mergers.  The expertise our Humanergy team brings:

  • Insight into what is necessary as leaders to ensure smooth change
  • Facilitation that is independent and focused
  • Guidance through the legal logistics
  • Strong communication planning and tools
  • Experience to fall back on when the going gets tough

What We Offer

Strategic counsel, analysis and guidance provided as-needed or on an ongoing basis.

  • Leadership/Strategy
  • Legal
  • Communication

Guiding boards and leadership teams through challenging conversations.

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • A clear stage-gate, step-by-step process
  • Case studies and tools

Coordinating and guiding legal steps. 

  • Due diligence
  • Formal documentation
  • State/federal requirements

Interim leadership and key relationship building

  • Help building the new culture of engagement and support
  • One-on-one executive coaching

Who We Are

Chris Sargent

With over 25 years of executive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector Chris brings practical perspectives and understanding in strategic planning, innovative facilitation, fundraising, mergers & collaborations focused on values-centered approaches including equity, transparency, and collaboration. As CEO of United Way of Greater Battle Creek, Chris was a key driver of the merger with Greater Kalamazoo United Way & HandsOn Battle Creek and became CEO of the new organization. He later co-led the merger with Capital Area United Way and United Way of Jackson County, becoming CEO of the new United Way of South Central Michigan. Chris has expansive leadership know-how and insights on non-profit mergers and organizational transitions as a Chief Officer and board member. He has advocated for policy at the local, state and national level including the White House. To learn more visit his LinkedIn profile at Chris Sargent | LinkedIn.

Rick Chambers, APR

Rick brings extensive communication experience on mergers across four decades. He coordinated communications in five corporate mergers and 26 major transitions in the pharmaceutical industry, and as an independent consultant he led communications for three Michigan United Way mergers. Rick continues to provide guidance on strategic communications to United Ways and other nonprofits around the country. He brings extensive, award-winning experience in communication strategy, public relations, media relations, crisis communications  and internal communications. He has provided thought leadership through major PR publications, blogs and in university settings. He is also a novelist and screenwriter.

James Liggins

As a noted litigator and community ambassador, James leads a multifaceted practice encompassing property disputes, real estate concerns, as well as business contractual disputes, criminal defense, health care issues and emergency manager matters. Passionate about helping his community in meaningful ways, James tirelessly lends his time and knowledge to various charitable organizations including the board of the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation and of the Bronson Healthcare Group. James is extremely gratified to act as a resource for community groups and says that his efforts come full circle because he gets just as much as he gives to good causes. His passionate participation in social awareness programs and community services that benefit the people and places about which he cares deeply helps James fulfill his aspiration — to converge his professional and community contributions into one. James was Board Chair of the merged Battle Creek/Kalamazoo United Way, brought his leadership insights to the coalition that guided the South Central merger, and also served on the merged United Way’s Board. He brings a unique, vital board leadership and legal perspective on mergers.

David Wheatley

David is the co-founder and Chief Question Asker at Humanergy. For over 25 years he has worked with leaders who are engaged in transitions to new roles or new scope or need improved results. As a leadership coach and trainer, he often gets drawn into facilitating challenging meetings and situations. He has facilitated conversations with boards, leadership teams and community stakeholders through multiple non-profit and credit union mergers.  He is co-author of 50 DOs for Everyday Leadership Lessons Learned the Hard Way (So You Don’t Have To), now in its second edition, and What Great Teams Do Great: How Ordinary People Accomplish the Extraordinary. In his spare time, David plays soccer and the guitar, both badly, in his opinion. In 2015 they completed an Atlantic crossing on a 39-foot sailboat, with the help of two fellow sailors.

Our Values

In all our work we value:

    • Equity – Applying principles of diversity, inclusivity, justice, empathy and trust to our work.
    • Transparency – Operating in an open, honest and accountable way.
    • Integrity – Pursuing our work with respect, empathy and the highest standards of quality.
    • Collaboration – Partnering with clients to honor all voices, build trust and deliver results.