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How To Work With Other Nonprofits

By Cheyenne Gladfelter
January 26, 2015

Nonprofits, voluntary or community organizations working together on joint projects can help make their frontline activities more effective and efficient. When thinking about the issue of working together for nonprofits, it is vital to make sure that all the organizations share a common goal. That is why they all need to be guided by one governing document that is created with all parties in the picture.

When deciding whether and how to collaborate on various joint projects for the nonprofits, the most important aspect to think about is whether the collaboration will make operations more effective for the beneficiaries.

Preparing to work together

Research shows that 60% of organizations willing to collaborate with other non profits argue that working with others takes more time than expected. Much as it can bring great benefits, it can be more complex than working alone. Its success therefore rests on a combination of both formal and informal means of achieving good working relationships on both the individual and the organizational level.

Before you can make any progress, it is vital to first discuss how you will be working together, define your roles, responsibilities and any other legal obligations. Try and get these details in writing in the form of a working agreement. You also need to cite the importance of values such as trust in the relationship that you share.

Another important thing is to ensure that the staff and volunteers are aware of why their organization is collaborating with another. This means that they ought to have insights to partners aims and values. Time spent in developing the feeling of understanding between the employees of the various nonprofits can help to create a culture that will help them to work together for a common purpose.

Securing the commitment to work in a collaborative manner should lessen the impact of staff moving on and also ensure that your nonprofit supports this mode of working. Once resources and values are shared in the arrangement, it is possible to attain the desired goals in the case of a collaborative effort. Collaborative working for nonprofits takes time and long term effects might only result from a considerable effort from both sides.

Other issues that need to be consider include funding joint projects, the management structure, staffing joint projects, communication, public relations and reviewing the joint projects.

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