Two community-based organizations in Manitowish Waters merged into one organization on May 1st! The Manitowish Waters Alliance (MWA) and the Manitowish Waters Community Foundation (MWCF) are established groups that, combined, have served the community for over 50 years. Both operations have a long history of collaborating with local businesses and individuals from across the area to deliver the key elements of Community Service, Financial Support for community initiatives, valuable Social Activities, and having fun with our neighbors and visitors. The MW Community Foundation is best known for its annual Solstice Festival which draws bicycle riders from across the state and beyond.
The merged organization has been renamed the Manitowish Waters Alliance Foundation (MWAF), with an encompassing mission to mobilize the power of our members and the generosity of our donors to accelerate community-led change. “We’ve been discussing the potential merger since mid-October. The boards of both organizations have enjoyed learning about each other’s accomplishments, programs, and history; and getting to know one another. The more we heard, the clearer it became that we have a real opportunity to be more effective serving Manitowish Waters by working together,” states Doug Zeise, Alliance Board President, who has transitioned into the role of Board President for the merged organization. "I’m also excited to start the conversations with the members and volunteers, and local businesses and supporters, about their ideas and vision for the future of the merged organization."
Manitowish Waters Town Board Chairman and Board Member of the MW Community Foundation, John Hansen, stated “the town is grateful to both of these organizations for providing valuable services and support that has helped keep Manitowish Waters a wonderful place to live and visit.”
In February of 2020, both boards of Directors unanimously voted to approve the intent to merge the two organizations. Because the two organizations’ programs are complementary but not overlapping, the combination will result in a more holistic approach to delivering the overarching services an organization needs to function; including the ability to more closely link strategy, governance, finance, and volunteer support. The composition of the board of directors has been determined and, going forward, all programs of both the MWA and the MWCF will be maintained. Final merger tasks were completed in the last few weeks, including: establishing the MW Alliance Foundation as a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization; creating a new set of operating ByLaws; and establishing the new, combined “brand”.
This merger will deliver much more than one plus one. The merger is a multiplier, fueling the impact and effectiveness of the new MW Alliance Foundation by leveraging the passion, skills, compassion and efforts of all the folks from both organizations now working together with a single, shared mission.