Feed The Children and World Neighbors, both Oklahoma City-based international nonprofits, announced Tuesday that they will team up to provide long-term aid to impoverished communities around the globe.
World Neighbors, which has worked to improve standards of living in remote parts of the world since 1951, will become a subsidiary of Feed The Children on March 1.
“Feed The Children will become the parent agency,” said Melanie Macdonald, World Neighbors' president and chief executive officer.
But her nonprofit “will continue to have a separate board and separate papers of incorporation,” she said. “We'll be the same as we've ever been, with the same goals, but we'll be able to expand our reach greatly across the world. We'll have opportunities we've never had before.”
World Neighbors, which is selling its headquarters on NW 122, likely will occupy the second floor of a Feed The Children building near Meridian Avenue and S Enterprise Avenue.
Feed The Children, one of the country's largest nonprofits, will take on the smaller organization's human resources, finances, information technology, marketing and fundraising responsibilities.
That alone will relieve World Neighbors of a $1.5 million annual burden, Macdonald said.
World Neighbors, which was founded as a secular organization by a Methodist preacher, has worked with more than 26 million people in 45 countries. Its focus always has been on long-term development. The nonprofit allows community members to determine which problems they want to conquer, such as lack of potable water or limited business opportunities, then educates them on how to accomplish their goals over a period of years.
World Neighbors employs about 60 to 65 people, most of them field workers who are natives of the countries in which they work. Ten Oklahoma City workers are expected to lose their jobs in the merger, Macdonald said, although they may be eligible for similar positions at Feed The Children.
Kevin Hagan, Feed The Children's president and chief executive officer, said his organization likely will add new jobs as it takes on the additional administrative duties.
Hagan, who was hired last year, said World Neighbors' work dovetails neatly into the greater goals of his nonprofit. While Feed The Children feeds more than 350,000 worldwide each day, it also wants to help eliminate the need for its services.