Nonprofit Collaborations 'Take Time'

Posted on March 23, 2011 by Pam Truitt

Recently, I ran across a blog written by John Brothers in the Stanford Social Impact Review. Brothers is the Principal of Cuidiu Consulting, a Senior Fellow in executive leadership with the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Wagner School for Public Service. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard. When the man speaks, he has something to say!  Not only does Brothers have the titles but he has the credentials to speak from experience---he comes from poverty.

The blog is thought provoking as it challenges nonprofits in a number of areas.  But I’ll focus on one aspect:  collaborations ‘take so much time’.

I agree. Relationship building does take time. Brothers points out that nonprofits spend time building relationships with donors, but not each other. This is one reason why The Patterson Foundation stepped into the collaborative restructuring space.  To provide an environment for nonprofit leaders to talk about ‘what could be’ with a third party facilitator.

I like quotes. They help me get out of my box (sometimes it’s just a wet paper bag) and think beyond current situations to new realities. Today, I’ll channel Henry Ford:  “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a process, and working together is a success.” Amen Henry.

What kind of time have you invested in collaborative partnerships?  Did it pay off?

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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