Nonprofits often partner with other groups to achieve mutual objectives more effectively and to make the most of limited financial resources. In addition, some funders may require grantees to work collaboratively. The next time you visit the Foundation Center, ask to see our collection of materials that will increase your understanding of various partnership opportunities. Here are several examples:
Butterfoss, Frances Dunn. Coalitions and Partnerships in Community Health. 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2007. xxv, 579 p. Call Number: 230 BUT
The step-by-step guide for developing partnerships to improve public and community health is written for seasoned professionals as well as novices. Discusses why partnerships are important and explains how to build and sustain them. Chapter 10 provides an overview on funding and resource development for coalitions.
Hoskins, Linda and Emil Angelica. Forming Alliances: Working Together to Achieve Mutual Goals. Saint Paul, MN: Fieldstone Alliance, 2005. viii, 96 p. Call Number: 609 HOS
Because more donors are looking for collaborative efforts among nonprofits, the book is addressed to both agency leaders and funders, explaining the alliance continuum, the challenges and pitfalls of collaborations, as well as the benefits. One chapter discusses means for furthering an existing partnership. Contains numerous worksheets, sample letters of agreement, and other helpful tools.
La Piana, David. The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook: The Leader's Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger. St Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 2000. viii, 228 p. Call Number: 609 LAP MER
The initial chapters explain the different forms of mergers available to nonprofits; following this are steps for an internal assessment and for the process of identifying a potential merger partner. Typical problems, negotiating strategies, funding issues, and steps involved in implementation are explained. Appendices include various samples, such as ads seeking a partner, confidentiality agreements, and implementation plan.
Manley, Linda Schechter and Neil Stevenson. Building Successful Collaborations: A Legal Guide for Nonprofits. New York, NY: Lawyers Alliance for New York, 2007. 76 p. Call Number: 609 MAN
The booklet helps nonprofits analyze the benefits and risks of collaboration. A due diligence checklist is included to help identify appropriate collaborators. The guide also discusses the lawyer’s role, the negotiation process, the written agreement, and collaboration management. The appendices contain sample agreements in the area of workforce development.
Ray, Karen. The Nimble Collaboration: Fine-Tuning Your Collaboration for Lasting Success. Saint Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 2002. x, 120 p. Call Number: 609 RAY
Though collaborations can be complicated, the advice provided by the author offers a method--based on three precepts--for improving the flexibility and efficiency of these relationships. Includes sample documents for governance arrangements.
Ebaugh, Helen Rose; Janet S. Chafetz, and Paula Pipes. “Collaborations With Faith-Based Social Service Coalitions.” Nonprofit Management & Leadership, vol. 18 (Winter 2007): p. 175-91.
Presents findings from the first national survey of faith-based coalitions in the United States. The authors explore how faith-based coalitions collaborate with other faith-based groups, as well as secular organizations.
Haider, Don. “Uniting for Survival.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 5 (Summer 2007): p. 52-5.
The case study examines the ways that four Chicago-area cancer support centers collaborated before forming a fifth nonprofit to leverage their resources.
Hung, Priscilla. “Time to Merge? Fundraising and Financial Implications.” Grassroots Fundraising Journal, vol. 28 (January-February 2009): p. 4-7.
Hung elaborates on seven lessons that were learned in negotiating the merger, over two years, of the GIFT organization with Grassroots Fundraising Journal.
Wei-Skillern, Jane and Sonia Marciano. “The Networked Nonprofit.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 6 (Spring 2008): p. 39-43.
The article discusses the way that small nonprofits can accomplish as much as or more than their larger peers by building networks with other like-minded organizations. Emphasizes that in order to build capacity in this way, a nonprofit must focus on its mission rather than its organization, and on serving as a node rather than a hub. Provides detailed examples of nonprofits that have succeeded through partnerships with other nonprofits, local governments, and additional institutions.
A listing of collaboration resources on the Internet is available on the Lodestar Foundation website.