Thursday, October 22, 2015

What We've Been Reading: Radical Collaboration Edition

At Charities Review Council, we're still reeling from the innovative, collaborative and disruptive stories we heard at Annual Forum 2015-Philanthropy 2.0: Radical Collaboration. See what we've been reading since to keep our collaborative spirits fueled. 

This article explores the philanthropic consulting group Geneva Global, an organization that facilitates ‘dumbbell collaboration.’ Traditional collaborative relationships between nonprofits and foundations can be tricky, but Ava Lala, a director at Geneva Global, explains their solution. The group acts as “the handle in the middle that connects the two [weights],” nonprofits and donors, by pairing funders with compatible nonprofits as well as helping to manage donor funds. This directly relates to how Charities Review Council does its work, focusing on the relationship between the donor and nonprofit in order to achieve our mission! What are some non-traditional, maybe even “radical,” ways that you could collaborate with others to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues? Open Source Brainstorm Labs at the Council (Beginning January 2016) anyone? 

While collaboration between nonprofits is extremely important, we must not forget about the cooperative relationship needed between nonprofits and other sectors. As Le puts it, “Our communities can't afford for business, government, and nonprofits to be so siloed from one another.” This article emphasizes that all hands on deck are essential as we combat societal issues, expressing that “the challenges [are increasing] exponentially [as] resources... remain the same or [are] decreasing.” The article gives some serious tips for accomplishing collaboration, like networking and joining an organization outside of your sector, and some not so serious, but fun tips, like hosting a cross-sector cuddle party or karaoke night to help promote collaboration (we’re in!). 

Implementing collective impact and promoting structured collaboration to solve societal issues is a concept that is positively accepted by most, but an approach that can be difficult to achieve. This article addresses the issue, stating “to make such a structured collaboration not just possible, but also highly probable, we need an environment in which stakeholders can perform their individual roles optimally while also collaborating with each other effectively.” In order to accomplish this collaboration, the author argues that we must build awareness for the issue, build the capacity of stakeholders to help them perform at scale, and nurture a culture where collective impact can flourish. Why is a collective impact important to you and the causes that you believe in?

What have you been reading lately? Let us know if you come across an article or resource that is informative or inspirational. We'd love to hear from you.

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