The Networked Nonprofit: Collaborating for Sustainability
Presented by John Magisano
November 18, 2015
Presented in collaboration with The Foundation Center New York
Collaboration among community-based organizations is no longer optional, it is a requirement. Nonprofits need to be “networked,” that is, embedded in a network of relationships that include their possible competitors, organizations that provide wrap-around services, and umbrella/advocacy coalitions for your field. While collaboration may have once been driven by funders’ requirements, it is now necessary for simple survival in this turbulent environment. With less funding, more need for services and more competition, our communities need coordination of our resources more than ever. In addition, our organizations need to more agile and adaptable in ways we could not have predicted only a few years ago.
Organizations need to be networked in order to:
1. Serve our clients and communities more effectively;
2. Steward limited resources responsibly, and;
3. Be ready for rapid change when necessary.
The rapid change may be a financial crisis requiring merger or strategic restructuring to preserve your mission and services to the community. For these changes to be successful, organizations need preexisting relationships with potential partners, i.e. they must be “networked” to the greatest extent possible.
Top 3 Take-Aways:
1. Identify existing and potential collaborative partners now.
2. Solidify those relationships where possible with linkage agreements.
3. Carve out the time to keep building your network. The more linkages you have, the better positioned you will be to seize opportunities or respond to a crisis.