GENERAL PARTNERSHIP QUESTIONS
How does the mission, vision, and work of both organizations align?
- The first line of Search for Common Ground’s mission is, “To transform the way people deal with conflict, away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions.” Preemptive Love’s first core value says, “We’re not just aid workers. We are peacemakers.” Our organizations are committed to transforming violent conflict into peace, where collaboration, problem-solving, and lasting stability are possible. We can make deeper progress working on this issue together. The histories of our organizations share many commonalities.
- Together, we are shaping a vision for a more peace-filled world, and our joint partnership will enable our communities to empower peacebuilding efforts in over 30 countries. Although the work our organizations carry out on the ground looks different, our impact is the same: fostering peace.
- A partnership between our organizations provides an opportunity to learn from one another, pool resources, and increase the breadth and depth of our work in pursuit of global peacemaking.
What is happening with programs? What countries will you be working in?
- The merger is an opportunity to expand our capacity by enhancing some programs and complementing others. We look forward to integrating both teams to maximize impact.
- Search for Common Ground currently works in 33 countries in the following regions: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Europe.
- Preemptive Love will continue working in Afghanistan, the Middle East, the United States, and Latin America. In Latin America, Preemptive Love’s programming allows Search for Common Ground to expand into a new region, which is part of their ten-year organizational strategy.
How will you ensure that the spirit of both organizations is represented following the merger?
- Our greatest assets are our people. As the staff of both organizations merge together, there is a shared excitement to combine our expertise and experience. Additionally, we are in the process of creating opportunities for some of Preemptive Love’s current Board of Directors to join Search for Common Ground’s board.
- The sum of this merger is more than the individual parts - in this instance, 1 + 1 = 3. This merger will push both organizations to adapt and evolve in positive ways. We are committed to keeping our guiding principles and shared values at the core of this merger.
SOME Q&A WITH PREEMPTIVE LOVE LEADERSHIP FOR OUR COMMUNITY
I want to learn more about Search for Common Ground’s vision for the future. Where can I do that?
- Search for Common Ground has a proud 40-year history of making an impact, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and works in over 30 countries throughout the world, employing over 1000 staff, with 90% of their staff local to their context. To learn more, watch this video about how Search for Common Ground works.
- Search for Common Ground published a ten-year strategy (last revised in June 2022) that articulates the organization’s approach and growth strategy over the next few years.
How will this merger impact Preemptive Love’s program work?
- Preemptive Love will remain focused on our peacebuilding work around the world.
- Preemptive Love will continue working in Afghanistan, the Middle East, the United States, and Latin America. In Latin America, Preemptive Love’s programming will help Search for Common Ground expand into a new region, which is part of their 10-year organizational strategy.
What is happening with Preemptive Love staff?
- The same day-to-day services will continue while Preemptive Love is in the process of restructuring and transitioning our workforce. In some regions, our teams will merge together. In other regions, we will need to make difficult decisions where some staff are not offered permanent, long-term positions. Throughout all of these changes, both organizations are committed to transparency, generosity, and care for our staff including offering resume building, letters of recommendation, and other end of service benefits.
Can you tell me more about Search for Common Ground’s leadership??
- Shamil Idriss is the Chief Executive Officer of Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization. In his current capacity as CEO, and in his previous capacities as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Burundi Country Director, Shamil has led Search’s efforts to end violent conflict in more than 35 countries globally, including some of the most devastating conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa.
- Shamil was appointed by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan as Deputy Director of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in 2005. In this role, he supported high-level political and religious leaders in developing policy recommendations and action plans to improve cross-cultural relations between Western and Muslim-majority countries, before, during, and after the Arab Spring revolutions.
- We are deeply grateful for and excited by Shamil’s integrity and proven leadership. He shared some words for our community here.
- Marjorie Newman-Williams serves as Search for Common Ground’s President. Marjorie brings to the position decades of executive leadership experience, including nearly three decades in increasingly senior positions within UNICEF and more than a decade in senior leadership roles with non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Marjorie was born and raised in Jamaica and was part of the first generation in her family to attend college. Her interest in international development was sparked when the advertising company she worked for was contracted by USAID to support a reproductive health project in her home country. She further developed her leadership skills and experience in successive roles as Deputy Director of the Task Force for Change Management, reporting directly to the UNICEF Executive Director, and as Deputy Director of UNICEF's Program Division. She brought her communications and marketing expertise to the UN, rising through the organization to serve as UNICEF's Global Director of Communications from 2000 to 2003.
What will happen to the Preemptive Love brand? Will you continue to operate under this name?
- For the considerable future, Preemptive Love will retain our name, website, and brand. However, in order to make this merger as successful and mutually beneficial as possible, it is critical that we operate as one entity with one unified name in the future. Preemptive Love’s current assets, staff, and resources will be used to continue our programs and mission under the umbrella of Search for Common Ground.
How does this merger address some of the allegations of the past few years about workplace toxicity and abuse?
- The wellbeing of our people guided us throughout this entire process. Search for Common Ground has comprehensive processes in place to protect employees and people being served by programming around the world. They adhere to top-level practices of respect, accountability, transparency, checks & balances, and communication. This is particularly important to any members of our community who are concerned about Preemptive Love making decisions to prevent any further issues.
SOME Q&A WITH SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND LEADERSHIP FOR OUR COMMUNITY
Why does merging with Preemptive Love make sense for Search for Common Ground?
- We understand the importance of our mission to transform the way the world deals with violent conflict. This merger represents the most significant strategic effort to increase our ability to make a positive impact in conflict-affected contexts.
- This move combines complementary capacities of both organizations, provides opportunities to learn from one another, and augments our respective contributions in pursuit of healthy, safe, and just societies. This includes increasing our capacity to provide rapid and continued support to communities that have been affected by crises.
How will the merger impact Search for Common Ground’s work?
- The merger will expand Search for Common Ground’s programmatic capacity and our ability to meet the needs of the communities we serve.
- The merger with Preemptive Love will complement Search for Common Ground’s long-term and sustainable conflict transformation approach with relief capabilities in ways that are consistent with the Common Ground Approach.
- Preemptive Love has established programs and staff in Central and South America, which enables Search for Common Ground to accelerate our planned expansion into that region, as outlined in the organization’s ten-year strategy.
Is Preemptive Love a Christian organization?
- No. Preemptive Love considers themselves a faith-oriented community which encourages every person to respectfully bring their faith or non-religious views to the workplace. Preemptive Love’s staff is diverse, with many religious and secular beliefs from around the world. Preemptive Love affirms that true, lasting peace requires an approach that welcomes people of all belief systems to the table.
I’d like to learn more about Preemptive Love - can you tell me more?
Preemptive Love creates peace through three main strategies:
- rapid and ongoing response to crises so that people’s immediate needs are met after conflict, violence, or tragedy;
- job creation and technical training to empower people to create stability in the aftermath of war;
- fostering community through a philosophy of empowerment, locally-led efforts, and listening.
- Preemptive Love was founded in 2007 to help Iraqi children access heart surgeries. Following the 2014 ISIS surge across Iraq and Syria, Preemptive Love pivoted and joined with peacemakers around the world to deliver food, medical care, and winter essentials. In 2018, Preemptive Love began helping refugees and displaced people in Iraq access jobs and economic opportunities. In 2019, Preemptive Love expanded to serve migrants and asylum seekers sharing their stories about violence in their communities across Latin America. In response, Preemptive Love provided help for those in need at the US-Mexico border and in Colombia and Venezuela.
- Currently, Preemptive Love proudly serves communities in Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and the United States through locally-led efforts.
What will happen with the money I have already donated and why should I continue to give?
- Both Search for Common Ground and Preemptive Love have a commitment to use every donor dollar as it was intended when it was donated.
- This merger means that your dollars make an even greater impact for vulnerable people around the world. Your impact has expanded into many more countries, reaching many more hearts, and exponentially changing more lives.
What will happen with the money I recently gave to help with earthquake relief in Syria?
- All of the money donated to help Syria after the Earthquakes will be spent by PLC in the upcoming months. We are deeply grateful and relieved to be able to continue our emergency relief efforts in Syria without interruption during this critical time.
If I want to target my gift to Preemptive Love’s work, can I do that?
- All donations received prior to March 16, 2023 will be used for Preemptive Love’s programming and operating expenses throughout 2023. Donations given after that date will be used to further the combined work of Preemptive Love and Search for Common Ground. Your dollars will be leveraged to make an immensely greater impact.
I have a relationship with a certain gift officer at Preemptive Love - will they still be working with me as a donor for this new organization?
- Very likely, yes! Preemptive Love’s Development staff is excited to use their talent to make this transition successful and work on behalf of both organizations. Your donor contact at Preemptive Love will continue to be in regular communication with you.
- I have a specific question not addressed here. Who can I speak to about it?
- The SFCG / Preemptive Love Donor Care Team and Gift Officers are here for you. If you don’t have a specific contact person, please reply to any organizational email you receive, or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page will be continuously updated as we progress through the process of merging and are able to share more details.