This funding will facilitate a process in which we can explore opportunities to more effectively and efficiently serve our community through various forms that enhanced collaboration might take, including the possibility of merger.
In December 2008, Executive Directors from TIHAN, SAAF, and Wingspan began discussions in earnest to explore increasing formal collaborations between the agencies. Consultant Laura Alexander of Alexander Associates guided the first steps in the process.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drafted and presented to the Board of Directors for each agency. Board members of all three agencies reviewed and approved the MOU to explore additional collaboration, up to and including the possibility of a merger, should that option be the best solution for all involved.
The utmost concern--whether through an increased formal collaboration or a merger--is that clients and constituents served by each organization, as well as the community as a whole, benefit from this process. Additionally, the collaboration must be advantageous for all organizations involved.
Agreements in place include strict confidentiality regarding the discussions and negotiations, transparency between boards and executive directors, mutual respect, full disclosure, and participation of a chief executive and one board representative from each agency to serve on a Collaboration Negotiation Task Force.
As a result of the unique funding opportunity provided by the Community Foundation's Economic Relief and Stability Fund, all three organizations put forward their interest in exploring collaboration in a request for technical assistance and funding to cover costs, including a feasibility study, assessments, and planning services.
We are extremely grateful and excited that the Community Foundation decided to provide funding for this process.
TIHAN, SAAF, and Wingspan welcome the input and feedback of the community we serve regarding our plans for exploration and dialogue. Please email your comments and suggestions to:
Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF)
Executive Director Wendell Hicks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Director Jason Cianciotto: email@example.com
Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network
Executive Director Scott Blades: firstname.lastname@example.org