United Way’s Impact Grows with North Shore Merger

United Ways Announce Merger Plan for North Shore and Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley Regions

The Boards of Directors of the North Shore United Way and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley today announce the two organizations intend to merge effective July 1, 2015. The new organization aims to leverage both deep knowledge of the local communities in each region as well as the ability to provide the scale of resources needed to make an impact on complex, interdependent issues such as poverty, homelessness and the achievement gap.

The move enables the combined United Ways to leverage the North Shore chapter’s history of funding promising new ideas and mobilizing volunteers to advance innovative programs that address the needs of children and families and move communities forward. After the merger, a North Shore Local Council of volunteers will advise fundraising for, and investments in, North Shore communities, supported by a staff presence in Beverly.

“The Board of the North Shore United Way believes this merger is the best way to serve our donors and agencies,” said Lynnette C. Fallon, co-chair of the North Shore United Way Board of Directors. “Through the Local Council, we will continue our sharp focus on the needs of the North Shore and the interests of our local donors, while leveraging best practices in service delivery, development, and strategic partnerships of a larger organization.”

“Together, we can do more than any of us can alone to help strengthen children, families and communities,” said Michael K, Durkin, president and chief executive officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Our goal is to help our community partners achieve the positive change we all want to see in our region on issues like school readiness and quality affordable child care, high school graduation and the economic stability of families. We stand ready to work with local businesses, individuals and families who want to give or volunteer to find the right opportunities to get involved and make great things happen.”

Under the merger agreement between the two United Way chapters:

The merged entity’s service area will expand from 134 to 142 communities and will include the North Shore communities of Beverly, Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Manchester, Essex, Gloucester and Rockport;
North Shore United Way currently supports 25 partner agencies. Funding in the North Shore region will continue as planned for FY16 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) with the new entity;
Lynnette C. Fallon, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Axcelis Technologies, Inc. and William T. Eaton II, Senior Managing Director of TEG Partners, a division of Detwiler Fenton Investment Management will join the Board of Directors of the merged organization, and current North Shore Board members will serve on the North Shore Local Council;
Staff members of the North Shore United Way will join the new expanded organization, including executive director Margo Casey, whose new responsibilities will include major gifts fundraising efforts and community partnerships;
While the organization’s legal name is United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inc., it will continue to operate under the name United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. Later this year, the organization will unveil a new website designed to engage volunteers and donors in United Way’s work across all of its regions (North Shore, Greater Boston, South Shore, Merrimack Valley and the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Maine.).
The merger documents are expected to be signed June 30th, 2015, and the merger effected on July 1, 2015.