May 2, 2011; Source: York Daily Record | We’ve seen some interesting strategic alliances lately but this one is, on its surface, particularly unusual. In York, Penn., the York County Community Foundation and York Counts, a community-building group, have announced that they will merge.

There seem to be a few reasons for the merger, including the fact that the two organizations often overlapped in their efforts to improve the county. But the merger is also seen as a way to reduce the administrative and fundraising burden on York Counts.

While billed as a merger, it is clearly more of a consolidation, in that the two staff people associated with York Counts have been cut – there will be one staff person added later to cover the work. According to the Daily Record, the chair of the foundation’s board, Eric Menzer says the move reflects the foundation walking its talk regarding the wise use of resources. Menzer says that York Counts, which will now operate as an initiative of the foundation will “assist the foundation with efforts to direct community change by highlighting problems in the community where the foundation can target money.”

The board of York Counts will remain intact as a foundation committee directing York Counts projects like oversight of the regional policing study and a community indicators project.—Ruth McCambridge