We have all heard the phrase collaboration is key. Well, more and more in the philanthropy world, collaborations are becoming essential for the sustainability and longevity of an organization. Funders are asking to see collaborations. 

So, if you do not think it is advantageous for you to collaborate with another organization that provides the same or similar services, here are five reasons you might want to reconsider.

Expand reach, increase visibility! 

Through collaboration, you are reaching new people, i.e., clients and/or donors. By working with other organizations, you are tapping into their network. People who may have never heard of your organization now know about you. It puts you in front of other people. Let us say, for example, the organization you are collaborating with has media connections, and you do not. Well, if you collaborate with them on a project or program and the media shows up to do a story, guess who is going to get some coverage as well. 

Attract more funding!

As mentioned above, today’s founders want to see more collaborations. An unwillingness to collaborate could mean leaving money on the table. Something is better than nothing. Also, when you collaborate with another organization, their funders and contributors will become aware, and vice versa. Those donors may want to contribute to your organization as well. Never worry about a collaboration taking food off your table because it will likely add more to your feast in the long run. 

Ability to do what you do best!

If you are a small nonprofit, chances are you are stretched thin, working well overcapacity. There are areas or programs where you really live and align with your mission. You may not always have time to focus on it for giving attention to all the other things you need to do. Well, a strategic partnership can allow you to focus on what you do best and still provide a service. 

Shared responsibilities!

You do not have to do all the heavy lifting. When collaborating, the strongest organization in a particular area can take the lead in that area. For instance, maybe your organization is great at marketing, and your partner is a beast when it comes to reporting. Assign the task accordingly and build in accountability measures, so everyone knows what and where they are to do something.  

Increase range of services!  

Maybe you have wanted to add a program or service to your organization’s offers but lack the capacity. A good strategic partner can help you bring that service to fruition. Or you may be struggling to maintain a service. Well, instead of having to eliminate it altogether, find a partner who can deliver it under your umbrella. Here is an example. Friendly Inn Settlement, Inc. on Unwin Road in Cleveland has a nice, sizable facility. A program called Project Save offers services to the homeless population. Friendly Inn Settlement allows Project Save’s executive director to house his program in their building. Project Save’s services benefit some of Friendly Inn Settlement’s constituents. 

Project Saves has a home. Friendly Inn increased its range of services, and the constituents facing homeless can get the home they need. That is a win-win-win. 

In all fairness, finding and nurturing the perfect partnerships is not an easy task, but the benefits can outweigh the cost of continuing to operate in a silo. Consider collaborations. You can even give the United Black Fund a call for some potential partner suggestions.  

If you are looking to collaborate with a nonprofit organization in Cleveland Ohio, don’t hesitate to reach out to the United Black Fund to start the conversation.