It is widely recognized that nonprofits are serving a greater number of people, but have access to fewer resources. Partnering with another organization can be one strategy in doing more with less. The number of nonprofits has increased to service a growing population that relies on them. However, contributed dollars are not growing at the same pace. More nonprofits are requesting grants from the same pool of funds as the majority of other organizations. So what can nonprofits do?
The first thing is to take a step back and evaluate your nonprofit’s mission and vision, as well as your organization’s plan for the future. Has your organization confirmed the mission that it set years ago is still a differentiating purpose? In other words, if your organization didn’t exist, would the population you serve receive services by someone else? If the answer is yes, then perhaps an opportunity exists to partner to reduce overlap of services. If the answer is no, then it’s time to start thinking about how your organization can deliver those services in ways that are more efficient and effective to stretch dollars further. As I learn more about the nonprofit sector, I’ve been hearing about many organizations who are working together to have a collective impact, or share resources in order to avoid hiring additional staff, in turn avoiding additional cost.
Here are some examples:
- Habitat for Humanity and several other nonprofits that support housing related needs are part of the Delaware Housing Coalition. They discuss what they each do and outline collective strategies.
- Modern Maturity Center is part of the Delaware Aging Network. Rather than each organization hiring their own advocacy manager, they all put their collective resources together and were able to pass legislation to help seniors in the state.
- The Delaware Nature Center works across all three counties with other environmental agencies to support legislation that improves Delaware’s environment, and in turn, each of their missions.
In my interviews with Delaware foundations, I am hearing that they are beginning to ask if nonprofits are reaching out to partner with other agencies to reduce costs and/or to improve service and mission outcomes. It’s a trend that is growing.
As I referenced in my previous blog, if your nonprofit is interested in partnerships and collaboration, but don’t know where to start, give DANA a call. We can refer you to other organizations and make introductions to get the conversations started!
|Did you know: Along the vein of “collective impact” the Delaware Revenue Solutions Working Group has announced a public forum taking place on October 20th. They’re seeking input from the Delaware nonprofit sector ahead of the upcoming 2016 budget challenge. If you’re interested in attending, click here for more details and registration information.