August 25, 2020 -- The boards of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (Alliance) and the Council on Accreditation (COA) voted on Wednesday, August 19th to sign a Nonbinding Letter of Intent to explore a merger of the two organizations. The two organizations have been in discussions with multiple task forces of their boards since May 2019 and believe they have the agreements necessary to move to due diligence. Both organizations represent thousands of professionals working across the sectors of social, health and human services fields, and share a long history and vision, with the Alliance serving as one of the original founders of COA in 1977.

In a joint statement, Susan N. Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance and Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of COA, noted: “The merging of our two organizations to create a new organization is a very exciting possibility as it would amplify both of our missions, assets, networks and accelerate our shared vision to achieve greater impact, influence, and foster more rapid innovation. This new organization would be grounded in a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion that creates better outcomes for people and communities with a strong focus on advocacy at the local, state and federal levels. We could maximize our joint capacities, credibility, and reputation, and will build upon the excellence of our partner organizations through data and research, best practices, quality standards, policy, and accreditation pathways. Jointly, we would become a multifaceted and larger cross-sector network of partners (beyond existing COA-accredited organizations and current Alliance members) that could strengthen the reach and influence of our respective fields and the social, health and human services sector as a whole.”

A Joint Negotiation task force made up of selected members of both boards and executive leadership will be working throughout the remainder of the year on due diligence. Both organizations will be keeping their staff, networks, customers, funders and partners informed along the way and it is estimated that if the decision to proceed is made, the new organization will be created in early 2021.


Potential Merger FAQ
A FAQ for Alliance members is available in the Alliance Library. Access it by logging in with your Alliance credentials.

Conversations on Our Proposed Merger with Alliance CEO
A series of conversations with Alliance CEO Susan Dreyfus is being offered to chief executives of member organizations as an opportunity to discuss the Alliance and Council on Accreditation’s intent to explore a merger. CEOs and executive directors should register by logging in with their Alliance credentials.

About the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is a strategic action network of thousands of committed social sector leaders who through their excellence, distinction, and influence are working to achieve a healthy and equitable society. We aggregate the very best sector knowledge and serve as an incubator for learning and innovation to generate new solutions to the toughest problems. We accelerate change through dynamic leadership development and collective actions to ensure policies and systems provide equal access and opportunity for all people in our nation to reach their fullest potential through improvements in health and well-being, educational success, economic opportunity, and safety and resilience. Go to for more information.

About the Council on Accreditation
Founded in 1977, the Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international nonprofit accreditor of community-based behavioral healthcare and social service organizations. COA accredits the full continuum of child welfare, behavioral health, and community-based human and social services for children, youth, adults, and families. COA has developed separate accreditation programs for private organizations, public agencies, Canadian organizations, military programs, and child and youth development programs. Currently, COA accredits or is in the process of accrediting over 1,600 organizations or programs that serve more than 10 million individuals and families each year.