Nonprofits Friends of Balboa Park and the Balboa Park Conservancy have voted in favor of merging the two nonprofits into one entity to serve the best interests of the park, effective July 1, 2021. The merger will leverage each organization’s strengths, combine resources and expertise, as well as enhance support for Balboa Park through fundraising, advocacy, projects and programs.

The two organizations entered a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2020 that included a four-phase merger process: Exploration, Analysis, Design and Integration. The two boards of directors voted this week to officially sign the merger agreement and begin integrating the two nonprofits into one.

“Over the past months, we have learned a great deal about each other’s organizations and affirmed our shared aspirations for Balboa Park,” said Balboa Park Conservancy Board Chair Connie Matsui. “In partnership with the city, we look forward to creating a new organization that is ‘fit for the future’ and continually strengthens the deep sense of community and commitment that thrives within and beyond the park.”

The merger into a single nonprofit will benefit Balboa Park and the community by consolidating and continuing existing projects and programs, raising funds for the enhancement and preservation of the park, and streamlining the partnerships with the City of San Diego and other park institutions.

“We realized we could be more effective and efficient in serving Balboa Park as one entity,” said Friends of Balboa Park Board Chair Sarah Evans. “We are confident Balboa Park will be better served by one merged entity rather than two separate organizations.”

The organizations will spend the next few months assessing priorities and key tasks for the newly formed organization. The merger will take effect July 1 and entails the combining of assets and resources, including:

  • Staff and executive leadership
  • Boards of directors
  • Management and volunteers
  • Finance and facilities
  • Programs and projects
  • Fundraising
  • Communications
  • IT

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About Friends of Balboa Park

Friends of Balboa Park is a nonprofit that champions and enhances the park by connecting the philanthropic community to Balboa Park. The group has spearheaded major capital improvement initiatives throughout Balboa Park, including purchase and operation of the historic Balboa Park Carousel, restoration of the historic gate houses and Lily Pond, construction of the Morton Bay Fig Tree Platform, upgraded carillon speakers in the California Tower, Adopt-A-Plot program, dedicated benches and trees, and other programs that facilitate the community’s involvement in the enhancement of Balboa Park.

About the Balboa Park Conservancy

The Balboa Park Conservancy provides expertise, advocacy, and resources to envision, enhance, and sustain Balboa Park for all visitors in partnership with the City of San Diego and in collaboration with other organizations in the Park and the community. The Conservancy manages and maintains the House of Hospitality and operates the Balboa Park Visitors Center, serving more than 500,000 visitors annually.

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