The hope is that the NSI will help to further normalize the dialogue and activity around mergers and collaborations in the sector. The NSI's definition of success is: "By the end of the active NSI effort, Strategic Restructuring will be normalized in LA County's nonprofit ecosystem. This ecosystem understands, supports, and engages in SR as a tool for enhanced impact and sustainability." Part of the NSI's measure of success is whether we have helped to create an environment where nonprofits are more comfortable discussing strategic partnerships with their boards and with funders, where funders are more receptive to funding this type of work, and nonprofits have the tools and professional support needed to effectively engage in the work. The funders and the evaluation team believe that attitudes and perceptions around mergers and strategic partnerships within the local nonprofit and philanthropic sector have begun to shift since the launch of the initiative. However, the funders also recognize that beyond the life of the NSI, there may continue to be a need for education in the sector on the range of strategic partnership possibilities as well as training for consultants on facilitation of strategic restructuring and partnership work. Discussions are taking place among the funders now around what entity/entities might be best to carry that work forward.
This project has brought together funders and nonprofits in Los Angeles to focus on long-term sustainability issues in the nonprofit sector in a systematic way. The NSI continues to garner attention from nonprofits and funders throughout the country and is already being looked at as a model to support strategic restructuring within the nonprofitsector.