Our local community foundation created a special grant for nonprofits that collaborate on a project. When funders incentivize collaboration you know it’s time to pay attention.
Yes, Collaborate. Now.
If you are vision focused (and you should be, see why here) then you can’t help but connect. If everything you do is driven by your desire to reach your vision – your dream of a better future – then you’re going to be collaborating.
How can you begin to solve the problem of homelessness without talking to other organizations in your city who share your vision? Their mission may be quite different than yours, they may be providing food and you provide shelter but together you come closer to solving the problem. Then you’ll want to connect with the corporation that provides volunteers, board members and funding. Next, you’ll talk to the tiny house manufacturer to look for solutions…on and on it goes.
Traditionally nonprofits operate on the assumption of scarcity, there’s only so much money to go around so we better get our share. But when you make the shift to looking for, and working with, those who share your vision you begin to see abundance. You see how working together can achieve more than working alone.
Trust is another obstacle to collaboration. In his book, The Speed of Trust, Steven Covey writes, “Trust always affects two outcomes—speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up. When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down.” It may be challenging for you to overcome but be trustworthy and trusting will pay.
Keep your eye on the Vision. Take the lead on a collaborative effort now. Tomorrow’s post will talk about being nimble. To make collaboration work for you, you need to move quickly and efficiently You can move on if it doesn’t work but more likely it will be the beginning of a new and better way to reach your dreams.
Collaboration, it’s how you reach broader audiences and accomplish more than your organization can do alone.