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Nonprofit Collaboration

From the offices of the Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative, Craig explains the triple win that can result when organizations collaborate with each other.

 

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Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody, hey it’s Craig Freshley here.

I’m in the conference room of something called the Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative. And I want to talk a little bit about collaboration.

There’s a couple different types. One kind of collaboration is where I might get together with somebody else because it’s good for me and it’s good for them. Let’s say I need to buy something, they need to buy something, let’s combine our order and get a bulk discount. Or I need to go someplace, that person needs to go someplace, let’s ride together and save some money.

But there’s another kind of collaboration where our collaborating helps me, it helps you, and it also helps some greater good: the community. It’s not just a win-win. It’s a win-win-win. And that’s what the Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative is all about. This is an organization that’s made up of 30 different organizations in the region and the whole purpose of this central organization is to help other nonprofits help their communities.

Now, collaboration, for it to work well, needs a couple key ingredients.

First is a common goal. There has to be something in it for each organization. Otherwise they won’t put forth the effort.

Second, there has to be some trust that if I do my part you’re going to do your part.

Third, there has to be some sort of organization that actually focuses on the collaboration. Maybe it’s loaned horsepower from one of the collaborators or maybe it’s a neutral facilitator. The Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative has a staff person that does nothing else for 20 hours a week other than make that collaborative work.

When you’ve got these ingredients, you have a good chance of making a win for each of the collaborating partners and for the community as a whole.

Look, it’s easy to keep my head down and just do my work. It’s harder to keep my head up and be looking for opportunities. It’s even harder to set my own work aside to work on a joint project with you or somebody else. But when you do that and when it’s done right, you have a chance of not only making things better for yourself but also better for your partner and also better for the community as a whole.

Thanks for listening everybody!

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