Experience Matters, a Phoenix-based nonprofit organization that since 2011 has been engaging retired professionals with nonprofit organizations to build capacity and support meaningful social-purpose projects, is actively pursuing a merger as part of a two-phased strategy to cut costs and control expenses. Preliminary discussions are currently underway with a potential merger partner.

The Experience Matters board of directors developed the restructuring strategy to manage costs as a result of shortfalls between funding and operating expenses.

“Our goal is to continue serving the community with valuable Experience Matters programs,” said Experience Matters Board of Directors Chair Laurie Buczek.  “The organization has grown rapidly since its inception. What started as an initiative to bring the national Encore Movement to Arizona is now a network touching more than 334 social-purpose organizations that has invested $23.8 million in human capital into cities and towns across Maricopa County.”

As part of the cost-savings strategy, six positions, including the current CEO, have been eliminated. The remaining Experience Matters staff will continue managing current operations and programs including Encore Fellows, Service by Design and Americorps. 

All current commitments and partnerships will continue through the end of their existing contracts. Staffing is in place to ensure that Maricopa County continues to be served by Experience Matters programming, she said.

 “This was not an easy decision, but we remain hopeful that with the changes we can manage our costs and find a partner for a merger,” Buczek said.  “It’s a heavy financial lift to make a match between Experience Matters’ talent pool and the nonprofits.  The investment in that process is significant.” 

Buczek, who is leading a committee of the board to implement the strategy and oversee the organization’s day-to-day management, said that the 2017 annual fall luncheon originally scheduled for Nov. 16 has been canceled.

“We know the community loves our services, and in order to continue our mission, it is critical that we manage our operating costs effectively while securing sustainable funding for our programs,” she said.  “Holding an event at this time would not be prudent.”

The name of the potential merger partner will remain confidential and the organization will not make any further statements about a potential merger until the appropriate time, Buczek said.

            For more information or to make a donation, visit www.experiencemattersaz.org.