Case Studies

There is no one blueprint for effective collaboration. However, the case studies below illustrate the tools and skills required to collaborate and offer examples of how other organizations have built successful collaboration.

Nonprofit Collaboration Database - models and best practices of exceptional nonprofit collaboration efforts drawn from projects presented for consideration for the 2009 Collaboration Prize.

The Foundation Center - provides a helpful map, in conjunction with the Collaboration Database, to provide easy access to collaborations in your area

Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations - a list of case studies exemplifying the role of trust.

The National Academy of Public Administration - case studies of “High Performance Partnerships”.

Stanford Social Innovation Review’s “The Missed Merger Opportunity” explores a case study of how collaboration could have saved a nonprofit from closing.

Fieldstone Alliance’s “A Nonprofit Merger Case Study” examines the merger between Family Service of Greater Saint Paul and East Communities Family Center.

The Bridgespan Group offers 12 Community Collaborative Case Studies from around the country on collaborations that are truly making a difference. Read the background behind this initiative in Needle-Moving Community Collaboratives.

How to Organize Alliances of Multiple Organizations provides a case study on how to organize alliances with several organizations and how to best structure it. 


Listen to six local nonprofits share their collaboration stories as well as their real-world ideas for making partnerships work from our December 2010 brown bag lunch.

The line-up:

  • Sharing an office -- Peter DeMartino, AIDS HIV Services Group and Jennie Shuklis, FOCUS Women's Resource Center
  • Seizing an unexpected opportunity -- Mary Anna Dunn, Enrichment Alliance of Virginia, Inc.
  • Navigating joint funding -- Ellen Phipps, Alzheimer's Association of Central and Western Virginia and Chris Miller, Aging Together
  • Working with local government -- Erika Viccellio, Charlottesville Free Clinic