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Nonprofit Merger Fund Grant Guidelines

Since 1981, the Santa Fe Community Foundation has been connecting donors, nonprofits and community leaders to strengthen our four-county region of Santa Fe and northern New Mexico through philanthropy.  To date, we have made over $77M in grants to the region largely in the following five areas of impact: 

  • Cultural Vibrancy
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Educational Success and Career Pathways
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Renewable Resources

About the Nonprofit Merger Fund

According to 501c3lookup.org, there are currently 1188 nonprofits registered as 501c3s in Santa Fe. While the numbers of nonprofits doesn’t tell us anything about their effectiveness, there are instances where some nonprofits, especially smaller, more challenged groups, may be able to find strength and greater effectiveness by joining forces with like organizations.  Through the Nonprofit Merger Fund, Santa Fe Community Foundation offers help to eligible nonprofits engaged in merger conversations —  where it has been established the community may be better served by nonprofits combining work, efficiencies and improved service delivery.

Funding for the Nonprofit Merger Fund comes from the Santa Fe Community Foundation as well as from generous donations from our donor advised fundholders and peer foundations. 

Generally, there are three phases to a merger process, each of which generates different kinds of costs. The Foundation will seek to make available funding for any of the various phases, as follows:   

  • Phase I includes pre-merger planning and Phase II, the merger negotiation process.  These costs may include hiring a facilitator/mediator to assist with planning, legal and financial matters, and other critical tasks.

  • Phase III, merger implementation, involves costs associated with integrating the organizations into a single entity such as branding, marketing and communications.

Available Funding

Grants will range from $10,000 to $25,000 toward the combined work (i.e. each applying organization would not receive a separate grant) and would cover a six to 12-month period.  One entity will need to be identified to hold the funds.  The Foundation estimates that it will make one or two grants during the first year. Awards will differ based on factors such as the organizations’ size, complexity, timeframe and where they are in the merger process.


The Santa Fe Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Merger Fund Committee is aware of the highly sensitive nature of any materials submitted and will not share such information outside of the Committee and will ensure that any and all discussions with applicant organizations will remain confidential.

Click here to view the Merger Fund Application (.docx) format.

Your Contact for Merger Fund Grants

Christa Coggins
Vice President for Community Philanthropy

(505) 988-9715 x 7002