We all know there is power in numbers. A great idea is like a seed. When that seed is shared with others, it grows into a garden. becomes a movement.
Collaboration as a term is often tossed around a lot but most people haven’t been taught how to apply it professionally. While numerous nonprofits have successfully joined together (see Foundation Center’s Collaboration Hub), it is not always easy and requires artful skills, keen awareness, and strategic intention.
To support organizations in collaboration, and to help promote good chops, CNE has developed CoLab. This exciting new program offers trainings, tools, resources, consulting, and facilitation. Because we think it’s important!
It’s important because the whole—all of us, humanity—can be greater than the sum of our parts. We often discuss collaboration in terms of its relationship to competition; competition, at its best, can make each part more valuable and more effective, but collaboration adds value to the whole by focusing on how the parts work together.
– Steve Wright, Stanford Social Innovation Review
There are multiple benefits to collaborating: cost saving, increased efficiency, improved leadership, stronger programs, greater innovation, creative problem solving, and broader strides toward excellence. Sharing a good idea makes it better.
And not only might collaboration be employed internally, it can be applied externally, among organizations within the sector, and across sectors, to more effectively solve complex community challenges (an excellent example of cross sector collaboration is that between NYC nonprofit, Black Girls CODE, and Google).
Let’s plant that garden together!
After five years of working together, the CoLab program came at a critical time for the coalition. It allowed us to refocus our strategy, re-engage our membership and develop a collective plan for measuring community impact. The project anchored us. We are better positioned now to deliver on our community goals and to achieve meaningful impact in the community because of our partnership with CNE.
-Erika Viccellio & Karen Rifkin, Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition