Nonprofit Collaborations: Why You Need to Start
Collaborating alongside another nonprofit certainly has its pros and cons. The upside is that it can grow your mission and tackle issues you weren’t able to resolve on your own. The downside? You’re working with another nonprofit that has its own agenda. You might not see eye to eye on everything, which can create tension at times, so it’s important you stay on the same page to avoid any friction.
Despite the differences you might have, collaborating with another nonprofit is one of the best decisions your organization can make. The benefits far outweigh the cons. If you’re considering partnering with another nonprofit, here are some of the benefits you should think about.
Offer More Services to Increase Outreach
Even if your nonprofit provides a number of services and programs, there’s still only so much you can do on your own. However, by collaborating with another nonprofit, more opportunities are available to further your outreach. For example, let’s say your nonprofit’s mission is to find homes for dogs that are up for adoption. You can team up with a nonprofit that provides health services for pets, so anyone who adopts a dog can use them for checkups. These partnerships don’t necessarily have to combine programs or funding but can be through referrals or advertising. However you get the word out, collaborating with another nonprofit will expand on the services you offer.
More Public Exposure to Raise Awareness
Bringing in new donors to your cause takes a lot of time and resources that most nonprofits don’t have. Even partnering with another nonprofit to cross-promote can be helpful for advancing your mission. It opens you up to a new network of donors. You can promote one another online, through newsletters, emails, or at events. If you’re struggling to find another nonprofit that wants to engage with you, you can always turn to for-profits as well. Many businesses are looking for a nonprofit to support which will get your name out to their network of customers and clients.
Looks Great on Grant Proposals
A major advantage that comes along with collaborations is how it reflects on grant proposals. When grantors review proposals, they often expect your nonprofit to have worked alongside other nonprofits. They want to make sure that your nonprofit is doing all it can to get its message out. By partnering with other nonprofits, you can stand out and open up to more funding opportunities.
Learn to Work Through Conflict
Working for a nonprofit already comes with its own conflicts, so why would you want to add more stress by collaborating with another organization? While this might not seem like a benefit at first, it actually is. Leadership skills are a major bonus for nonprofit leaders. Having those skills shows that you’re knowledgeable and willing to put aside differences for a greater cause. Down the road, you will become a stronger leader with the knowledge that other nonprofits will look to your nonprofit as an example.
Depending on how much you want to collaborate with another nonprofit, the savings alone should be enough to convince you. There are many opportunities to save through joint purchases, sharing facilities, combining staff and volunteers, or even by developing programs together and splitting costs. Having a chance to save some funding to allocate elsewhere in your organization is always a plus!
Collaborations are a Better Path Forward
There’s no doubt that nonprofits that collaborate have a higher success rate. They have more resources, more connection within their community, and better access to funding. While there are drawbacks, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. So if you want your mission to grow, then start by getting to know the organizations and companies who share your message and figure out where to go from there. Chances are you won’t regret it!