Message Agency’s Marcus Iannozzi and Tech Impact’s Patrick Callihan only had a few minutes to spare during their busy week at the latter’s TechForward conference in Chicago when Technical.ly called to chat about their organizations’ merger.
“We made the announcement at the beginning of the conference on Monday morning, and I think that was very well received,” said Callihan, CEO of the nonprofit that helps other nonprofits access technology, as well as hosts workforce development training through its ITWorks arm. “Both of us have a long history of serving nonprofits. So our brands are both very strong. And I think from an outsider’s view, they see this as a positive direction for both organizations and for the sector overall.”
Iannozzi, founder of the digital services firm and B Corp, said the orgs have a long history together with many instances of collaboration. About a year ago, Message Agency was chosen to complete a redesign of Tech Impact’s website. This opportunity led to a conversation about the possibility of merging.
“It just became very, very clear how we had a lot in common in our culture, in our values and, we’re just completely aligned in who we serve,” Iannozzi said.
Message Agency’s leaders saw an opportunity for growth if they worked with a large, successful nonprofit. On the flip side, Logan Square-based Tech Impact did not offer web and digital services; Message Agency could fill that gap. (Tech Impact’s ITWorks program has a home in Wilmington, too.)
This merger makes Message Agency a division of Tech Impact that will operate under the name Message Agency, a Tech Impact Agency. This deal was effective as of Aug. 31.
Message Agency’s 17 employees joined Tech Impact’s 120, and there were no layoffs, Iannozzi said — instead, the company is continuing to hire.
Through this merger, Tech Impact has gained clients and associates and increased revenue, Callihan said. Long term, the plan is to incorporate more of the services Message Agency offers.
“We’re super excited about this,” Callihan said. “I think there’s just so much synergy between the two organizations and between both sets of our clients that there’s just huge benefit long term.”Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
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