The Power of Collaborative Fundraising

Look at some of the recent local collaborations for social causes like climate change, environment, and recreation. Is it time to rethink funding for social causes, too?

Article In Brief:

  • The Problem: Fundraising can sometimes be seen as a competition with nonprofits all going their own way, repeating the same playbook, duplicating effort. Our author wonders if there is a better way to tap into the inherent collaborative impulses of the sector.
  • The Context: Social causes are bigger than just one organization. No one nonprofit can or should try to stake out a monopoly. By working together, even with overlapping missions, nonprofits can achieve so much more.
  • The Solution: From 30 years of serving as a nonprofit CEO, our author presents tangible benefits from collaborative fundraising and shares five simple steps to ensure your collaboration goes as well as possible.

This is the season for… another fundraising event!

We all sigh (silently) when the board chair reminds us of the annual gala, golf tournament, or whatever all else has been done for years.

Forget the fact that fundraising models have changed (enter the tech world of QR codes, for example), that volunteers have dropped off, or that staffing is short. We still need to raise dollars and add new prospects to the fold.

It seems to me like there are more nonprofits than ever after the pandemic, which is additional competition for dollars. Maybe even a few of these have missions similar to ours.

While the pandemic has led to increased levels of volunteerism and charitable giving, which may in turn lead to the creation of new nonprofits, there is insufficient data to make a determination. According to a report by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 41% of nonprofits reported an increase in volunteer support during the pandemic, and 64% reported an increase in donations.

But what if we reframed the conversation? That is, we might instead look at the growth of our sector not as increased competition for always-too-limited funding but as potential partners. Read More.


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