Home > The Gardner Report > Is Your NPO Ready to Begin a Collaboration or Alliance?

National Philanthropy Day
November 18 marks the celebration of local philanthropy. In both Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock, Gardner & Associates is a Leading Sponsor of those celebrations because we believe in our positioning line–Growing philanthropy.

Congratulations to the very deserving winners in each category! Each year the AFP selection committees highlight those individuals and companies that make a difference in our communities.

Welcome to New Gardner & Associates Clients
Paul and Walt are pleased to add two new clients: Let’s Bring Them Home (LBTH) and Nevada Psychological Consortium (NPC). G&A is helping LBTH to develop a strategic plan and to establish a sustainable fundraising and grant campaign to support that plan. NPC seeks help in researching and submitting grants to fund the professional internship program. Both new clients are seeking counsel to take advantage of the anticipated economic upturn.

Is Your NPO Ready to Begin a Collaboration or Alliance?
For the past four Gardner Reports G&A highlighted success stories in which NPOs moved into a collaborative relationship and concluded in merger. These NPOs found that by pulling together they become more effective stewards of their fundraising and more efficient operations. They found that they increased their public awareness, enhanced staff morale and streamlined their programs and processes. Their communities gained from enhanced programming, streamlined access to services and a clearer understanding of how the NPO served community’s needs.

Ed Rigsbee’s recent article in NonProfit World (Volume 27, Number 5) offers a simple checklist should your NPO consider partnering. He suggests a rating scale of 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) on six different attributes. Ed picks the six most essential elements of a relationship. G&A offers his checklist for your consideration. Even if not considering a partnership, this checklist is valuable checkup.

Completing this profile process helps ascertain if your NPO is compatible with the other prospect(s). By comparing your responses with those of your prospective partner(s), you will learn about each other and get a clear picture of what to expect from the partnership.

1.     Communications Skills – Determine how, when and how well your NPO communicates with its constituencies. NB: Rigsbee puts communications first because it is the primary cause for both NPO and collaboration failures.

2.     Leadership Skills – Verify where the staff and leadership stand on partnering. Is there a champion or a challenger? Collaboration starts at the top. Measure how receptive or committed your leadership is to getting things done or are they more interested in being right?

3.     Organizational Ability – Measure your NPO’s ability to organize and carry plans through to a conclusion to support your mission statement.

4.     Vision – Substantiate that your goals as an NPO are clear and pertinent and that your reasons for considering a partnership are valid, achievable and measurable.

5.     Compassion – Clarify how tolerant your NPO is of the foibles of others. Can you appreciate what your partner brings to the match, or do you expect perfection?

6.     Curiosity – Ensure that your NPO and its leadership are open to new opportunities. How readily can your NPO adapt to unsuspected changes in plan or unanticipated opportunities?

Gardner & Associates believe that NPOs should constantly look for the best ways to deliver your programs and services. We believe that a part of your strategic planning should be searching for partnerships to make the best use of spare community resources.