The Benefits of Taking the Longview

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Pam Truitt

For those who are in the philanthropy space and have access to Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article Mergers Are Just One Way Charities Find to Team Up and Battle a Tough Economy - it's a good read, touching on a number of different aspects of nonprofit partnerships.

The last four paragraphs speak to the rewards and benefits of taking the long view of collaboration.  William Pinakiewicz, of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, sums it up pretty well in this quote about collaboration…

"You may get some economic benefit, but the real payoff is in preservation, improvement and the expansion of your group’s impact," he says.

So, what does that mean exactly?

Nothing replaces an opportunity to step back and see the big picture -- where you’ve been and where you need to go. To the vast majority, this is clearly a luxury.

I mean, how many times can we actually afford quality time to reflect and plan?  Usually, these opportunities come around when you are least prepared--a crisis or major upheaval. While we don’t have any control over the cosmic universe and financial markets, we know that the future isn’t going to be like the past.

Pinakiewicz went on to say…..

"The recession shone a bright light on the need to update the nonprofit funding model….We need to do things differently and collaboration is one way to go about that."

Oh, so that’s what he means.  Hmmmmmm…..I wonder if nonprofits agree?

Fortunately, The Patterson Foundation’s Collaborative Restructuring Initiative may provide a neutral, third-party facilitator for two or more nonprofits interested in exploring the long view for mission impact.  No, collaboration isn’t a panacea or cure-all, but how do you know if it works until you are willing to explore the long view?


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


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