One of the wonderful things about Delaware is how everyone seems to know someone that you know. Delawareans, from my experience, are welcoming and very helpful. I have received many welcome notes from fellow nonprofit leaders, and have been invited to networking breakfast and lunch meetings. These get-togethers provide a nonprofit leader with sage advice from more seasoned Executives. This can lead to other phone calls for counsel, and in turn, even build friendships. I experienced this in my last role at the Rehoboth Art League, and am glad to find it here at DANA, as well.
In my visits with nonprofit leaders up and down the state, I have met some who are relatively new to the sector, and even to Delaware. They do not yet have that network to rely upon. They may not know who to call or where to go. Our strong informal network is not open to them yet. One fairly new ED mentioned to me that he is being asked to collaborate, but he doesn't know who to collaborate with. It all goes back to these connections. Collaboration doesn't just happen. It is a process in which conversations take place and trust is built. Only then can a successful collaborative initiative take place.
|Did you know: One of the perks of DANA membership is an invitation to our free, exclusive Member-Only Winter Reception. Every year, we draw in about 100 passionate nonprofit people to connect with each other and celebrate all that the nonprofit sector accomplished throughout the year. If you’re not a DANA member yet, click here to learn more, or call us at 302-777-5500. We’d love to meet you!
DANA can help nonprofits make connections. We receive calls nearly every day with questions on 'who does what.' For folks who wish to start up a new nonprofit - or already have - we offer suggestions on who they can reach out to in their respective mission area. Our member reception, which is held annually in December, is a fun way to connect with fellow nonprofit leaders. DANA’s annual conference and training sessions can also be an additional means to make new connections.
Working together first starts with getting to know each other. I encourage established nonprofit leaders to reach out and say hello to a new leader, and for new leaders to reach out and say hello to their fellow nonprofits down the street, whether you have like-missions or not. Who knows what exciting things may happen!