Case Detail

Case Summary

Nonprofit Mergers: Suburban Job Link-STRIVE/Chicago

Case Number: 5-104-025, Year Published: 2004, Revision Date: May 06, 2014

HBS Number: KEL063

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Authors: Donald Haider

Key Concepts

Strategic Collaboration, Nonprofit Management, Alliances, Mergers, Competitive Strategy


This case is about the merger of two Chicago-based nonprofits who share similar missions and clientele, but have different strategies and capital structure. They also operate in the highly competitive job training–temporary work field where organizational survival is at stake. Suburban Job Link is a fee-driven, largely commercial nonprofit and STRIVE/Chicago is a philanthropic-based nonprofit dependent upon grants and government for revenue. The case explores alternatives to merger, and proceeds from merger discussion to post-merger outcomes. Case can be used for discussion of strategic collaboration and alliances; how to get “more mission” through resource combinations; and how nonprofits compete in highly competitive industries.

Number of Pages: 11

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Strategy, Non Profit

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Industry: Employment Training; Nonprofit

Organization Name: Suburban Job Link

Organization Department: Management

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Founder and President

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2003