Armanino Blog

The Brighter Side of Nonprofit Collaboration

August 25, 2016

Many nonprofits shy away from collaboration and partnerships for many reasons such as overlap of initiatives, the competition for grant funds and lack of resources. By avoiding working as partners, organizations are missing out on new ideas and initiatives that can make change for the community being served. Through well-planned and proper execution, collaboration can improve the efficiency and sustainability of your nonprofit's future.

Identify the Problem

The first step to collaboration starts within. You must overcome the fear and past failures of teamwork and take that leap out of your comfort zone to accomplish what's best for the organization's growth. The recent article "Why Don't Nonprofits Collaborate?" provides a great discussion on how nonprofits can pursue collaborative opportunities and start an honest conversation with each other. Territorial boundaries of donors and lack of resources may steer this conversation in the wrong direction, however various collaborated efforts come with great benefits including:

  • Increased funding
  • Improved operational efficiencies
  • Program expansion
  • Increased leadership skills
  • Increased value proposition for both organizations
Understand Potential Solutions

Once your nonprofit has acknowledged the need to collaborate and has considered the benefits, the next step is knowing which options works best for you. Last year in 2015, we touched on building strategic alliances in a recent article "Joining Forces: How to Harness the Power of a Strategic Alliance" highlighting real-life examples that showcase some successful models of collaboration. Mergers & acquisitions, strategic alliances, and informal partnerships such as shared leadership can reveal powerful solutions that may fix many financial issues nonprofits face.

Take Action

Don't wait until you have to make tough decisions under pressure. Seek out opportunities, think outside of the box, and get the tools you need for your nonprofit's success. We know that joining forces with a nonprofit, combining programs or sharing infrastructure may require an outside consultant. Armanino understands these concerns and will walk you through the options to provide a collaborative solution that works best for you.

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