The future of not-for-profits was unclear when the COVID-19 pandemic sent the entire marketing workforce home in March. Lay-offs, furloughs and cost cuts painted an uncertain outcome for 2020. Then something amazing happened. Determined to serve the women who were disproportionately impacted by the events of 2020, She Runs It increased its programming, offered it for free, and invited people beyond the immediate community to participate in an effort to keep them strong, current and connected. She Runs It also started an earnest conversation with another women's organization, mBolden, to explore the benefits of coming together.
Today, the two organizations have announced they will merge under the She Runs It name.
Lynn Branigan (pictured at top,) President and CEO of She Runs It, describes the merger as serendipitous. "Two like-minded organizations intersected at a pivotal moment in time and agreed that a combined whole would be stronger than the sum of its parts. In a year that saw corporate and individual philanthropic investments streamlined, She Runs It was evaluating opportunities to scale at the same time mBolden was seeking to align with a more structured operation. Because the two organizations served a common mission, vision and community, the benefits of coming together were immediately recognized."
The merger creates the marketing industry's largest member organization focused on supporting and advancing women leaders, with more than 10,000 members.
Lynn Branigan is President and CEO of the combined organization. mBolden President Lara Mehanna (pictured below) will become a director on the She Runs It Operating Board.
"We see immense opportunity in bringing these two organizations together," said Mehanna. "The mBolden community will have access to more resources, events and opportunities for women in digital fields. In an 'everything digital' universe our goals are harmonized. Media, digital, and advertising is core to the value set of both organizations. With this merger we remain committed to providing a platform of resources and opportunities to support the growth of women in this industry throughout their careers."
The merger brings immediate scale to She Runs It, a 108-year-old organization that was founded in New York and has been expanding nationally since 2016. While She Runs It has substantial presence in New York and Chicago, mBolden has significant representation in those cities as well as San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle. mBolden also has chapters in London, Tel Aviv and Singapore.
mBolden will gain access to staffing resources plus the industry leading member programs and benefits offered by She Runs It, including high-profile inspirational content, professional development, thought leaderships, industry insights, the industry's largest mentoring program, qualification for educational loan relief robust networking opportunities, committee participation in specific markets, award programs that spotlight and celebrate the accomplishments of successful leaders whose journeys fuel and inspire others, and participation in #Inclusive100, which delivers DEI tools, insights and actions to an expanding group of companies.
The mBolden chapter presidents will receive a free, one-year membership to She Runs It, and will be invited to participate in committees that integrate members values and inform local events and programming. All mBolden members will be granted a free, three-month trial membership to She Runs It which will begin in mid- January. Members will then have the option of signing on for annual membership beginning May 1, 2021. Members who live outside of the US and Canada will be offered a "self-serve" opportunity to participate in She Runs It virtual events (which will occur in US time zones). She Runs It will assess the best way to serve international members during the first half of 2021 and hope to extend other benefits (mentoring, networking circles, etc.) at a later date.
"Our fit with mBolden is perfect," said Branigan. "They exist to lift women up in digitally focused industries, and the marketing, media and tech industries we serve through She Runs It are entirely digital. Our combined membership has minimal overlap but highly complementary objectives. In this moment when women's careers are more threatened than ever, we will work together to expand the conversations, networking opportunities, thought leadership and stewardship that keeps our community strong, current and connected."
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