Thursday, April 6, 2017


Collaborations have become a “hallmark” of a more “future focused nonprofit” filled with benefits and risks(3) . Some reasons for sector collaborations are: “a mutual benefit to achieve common or joint goals for self (organization), community, or both; pressure from funding sources due to a potential challenge or threat; to reduce conflicts by squarely addressing issues of competition and “turf(3).;  or utilized to proactively address an emerging community issue (3).

  • Non-Profit & Government:
Case: Department of Social Service(DSS)and La Alianza Hispana shared interest in education, job training, and health services in Boston.A collaboration was a result of DSS’s increase in caseload that lead them to collaborate with La Alianza, who would provide the community ties to understand and interpret family dynamics better by focusing on issues regarding mismanagement on cultural insensitivity (4).
Issues: Government can provide the footprint but do not always fund enterprise.
If nonprofits follow government regulations and agenda, the nonprofit no longer is the third sector that tries to provide what the two sectors can’t provide, it instead becomes an extension of government services.The issues arise as: stronger regulations; mission creep; inadequate budget, resources, and services; and lack of transparent communication. Some suggestions are:  create a task force, invest in strategic planning, and increase communication with  clients or pursue a different collaboration.

  • Non-Profit & Not for Profit
Similar: to serve a specific population with their collaborations. Both can provide a complementary collaboration if strategically planned.
Differ in terms of mission. Nonprofit and nonprofit  will often share missions and goals while with the NP and government collaboration, nonprofit will have to restructure to compromise to what the government collaboration can provide and under which conditions.
  •  Non-Profit & For Profit
Similar in regards to mission creep and lots of compromising.
Differ in regards to the collaboration value. Often there can be a higher level of mission creep with the collaboration with the government than with for profit because of the amount of regulation the government’s collaboration can imply.  

  • Non-Profit &Not for profit
Case: Seattle Art Museum and Housing coalitions collaborated for potential risk of funds but also to build community ties with regards to community diverse resources. They both wanted to enrich the community in one way or another while also obtaining the right resources or funds needed. Therefore, they collaborated to obtain a joint population vote (2).
Issues: Issues that tend to arise is the loss of autonomy and visibility. They both share an agenda to serve the same population but may differ in how they want to serve the population with regards to which services, researches, and issues they want to focus on.

  • Non-Profit & For Profit
Similar: in terms of wanting to strengthen their personal brand and possibly community ties. It can also be a strong collaboration. But can also lead to issues of mission and identity creep if there is not a balanced compromise or a strong level of shared mission. Yet, there are principles from NP organizations that can also benefit FP companies.
Differ: in terms of agenda. NP-NP share agenda and mission to serve the community or population while NP-FP will share mission but may differ in terms of agenda. NP-FP will struggle with regards to gains and resources and social responsibilities. FP often want to maintain personal brand and reputation while still obtaining financial gains. Both have personal agenda but one is for profit.

  • Non-Profit & For Profit
Case :In the case of City Year and Timberland boot the collaboration began with Timberland Boot’s goal to brand the boot in connection with a core value. Throughout the years the collaboration grew through the similar stages of: climate of cooperation, group network, coordinating group, coalition, and collaboration (1).

Issues:The biggest challenge for profit and nonprofit organizational types is that congruent values can be different. Some suggestions would be focusing on relationship building, achieving greater visibility, developing a shared vision, and maintaining financial health.

Versus: (Mentioned Above)
1. Elias, J. 1996. Timberland and Community Involvement. Harvard Business School Publishing. Boston, MA.

2. Fortier, S. 1996. Funding Seattle’s Art Museum and Low-Income Housing: The Politics of Interest Groups and Tax Levies. Cascade Center for Public Service: Public Service Curriculum Exchange.

3. United Way, 2008. “Best Practices Summary: Collaboration, Coalition-Building, and Merger.”

4. Varley, P. 1996. Partners in Child Protection Services: The Department of Social Services and La Alianza Hispana.  Kennedy School of Government. Boston, MA