As a sector, we work toward a common purpose: a resilient community. A resilient community consists of individuals working together to ensure that as many of its members as possible bounce back from the setbacks, tragedies, and systemic harms they face.
The success of such a community stems from its ability to transcend the individual. This transcendence takes two forms: Empathy allows individuals to connect with others and care about their trials and tribulations. Collaboration comes from a recognition that we can achieve more when we work together.
Empathy abounds in the nonprofit world. Mission-driven organizations, and the people that work and volunteer for them, care. We work to improve others’ lives through access to health care, art and music, or democratic processes.
Our relationship with collaboration remains, if not fraught, at least less consistent. We are often so mired in the good work of our individual organizations, that we can’t find the time to look around and see who else is doing this kind of work. We need to learn to look up, reach out, and move forward toward our common purpose. We need to learn how to collaborate.
If we can do this, we will become stronger through collaboration. Our community will become stronger—more resilient—through our common effort.