By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.
When you’re fighting for every new donation, the ability to reach more people matters, social media can help, but nonprofits looking to scale might find themselves searching for other avenues. In addition to that, organizations who haven’t built up their credibility yet might be looking for ways to build both credibility and reach. Many nonprofits are turning to community collaborations, which can be beneficial.
However, a lot depends on how nonprofits will collaborate, and whether they fit well with their chosen collaboration partner. In any field, these strategic nonprofit partnerships can improve the organization’s exposure and build their credibility, as well as improve organizational efficiency, sustainability, and impact on the community. Here’s everything you need to know about nonprofit collaborations:
A partnership between two community organizations naturally includes cross-promotion. That’s a valuable opportunity for nonprofits to reach more people, as the two organizations will work on raising awareness of one another. So when picking a partner for a collaboration, consider the target audience they usually work with. Would your message resonate with them? Does it fit even loosely with your nonprofit’s donor persona? Is there potential for expansion within that new audience? If the answer to all these questions is yes, consider that partner seriously, as the collaboration with them will be beneficial for your nonprofit.
If your nonprofit has recently started, it may not have built up as much credibility as you’d want. And that’s crucial in attracting and retaining donors, which is why it’s often among the priorities of nonprofits in every field. Community collaboration with a well-known and trusted organization could help immensely with boosting your nonprofit’s validity, as the mutual campaign would naturally lend some of their credibility to you. It would also improve the public perception of your nonprofit, helping you to raise your profile and attract more donors.
However, this effect goes both ways: a collaboration with an incompatible partner could damage your nonprofit organization. When choosing a partner, always aim for an organization whose core values align with yours, even if your mission is slightly different. That will ensure that you have a good fit and that they won’t suddenly do something that would reflect on you poorly.
Other Benefits of Collaborations
Collaborations have other, more intrinsic benefits for nonprofits in addition to increased reach and credibility. Those include increased efficiency and effectiveness, considering both organizations will need fewer resources to do their work and will advance their purpose faster and with more success. And those nonprofits who are aiming high with their mission in the desire to cause a broad change in the existing system might find that they’re stronger together, and more capable of affecting change when they join resources.
There are many benefits of community collaborations for nonprofits, but the leaders have to be clear on the “why” and “how.” Picking a partner can be a long process, but choosing right can pay off with increased reach and credibility.
For more nonprofit guidance and advice, visit Turnaround Life, Inc. website and help us fulfill our mission of assisting organizations and programs that support people turn their lives around.