Using "thinking money" to help nonprofits work better together

Using "thinking money" to help nonprofits work better together

Posted on April 16, 2013 by Pam Truitt

"A problem cannot be solved by people who are concerned with only one or another of its parts." - Masanobu Fukuoka

The great work of the Foellinger Foundation, located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, is summed up nicely on their website: serving children and families by supporting effective nonprofits. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with several folks at Foellinger—CEO Cheryl Taylor and Senior Program Officer Dawn Martz. Both are terrific thinkers and doers.

Last week, I highlighted a webinar that included the Foellinger Foundation as a funder of two organizations that found mission alignment around a merger. If your schedule didn’t allow time to read all of last week’s e-mail and you missed the webinar, click here!

I picked one aspect out of the entire webinar to write about: the Collaboration Dance.

This week I’m going to write about "Thinking Money." That’s what colleague and friend Cheryl Taylor calls the capacity building fund that nonprofits can access if they want to explore working smarter/better.

Here’s the cool thing: The Patterson Foundation has a Thinking Money fund, too. We don’t call it that, but the funds have similar goals as Foellinger’s.

What can two or more nonprofits do with TPF’s Collaborative Restructuring Initiative Funding?

• Come to the table with colleagues and discover things unknown that might lead to synergistic effects.

• Learn what others are doing and see how your work fits in or help locate gaps.

• Figure out if two or more can expand services or geography and what that might look like.

• Use the ‘it takes a village’ approach to solve one of society’s human service challenges.

• Get up on the 30,000-foot plane and explore ‘possibilities’ with great minds.

If you had the opportunity, what would you think about?

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


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