CoLab is an experiential learning lab designed to build the knowledge and skill of partnership, while providing training, consulting, and resources that support nonprofits, and their community partners, in creating social change through collaboration.


What does CoLab offer?

CoLab provides trainings, tools & resources, consulting, and facilitation to support nonprofits and their community partners in creating social change through collaboration. Programs and services are customized based on the needs of the organization/coalition and may include:

Collaboration Roadmap – a take-action guide to starting and managing multi-sector collaboration.

Collaboration Fundamentals Training – content covered includes types of collaboration, mechanics and governance, readiness assessments, questions to consider for boards and leaders of potential collaborator organizations, finding collaborative partners, and leadership development in coalition.

Strengthening Collaboration Training – content covered includes common challenges to collaboration, as well as practical approaches to building stronger governance, evaluation, fund development, and community engagement w/in coalition.

Consulting – strategic retreats, facilitated meetings, coalition health assessments, development of charter/partnership agreements, and leadership/governance coaching to promote effective collaboration.

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, and Karen Rifkin, Co-Chairs,
Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition

Who can participate in CoLab?

Executive directors/CEO’s, board members, coalition leaders, managers and multi-sector stakeholders. Whether you’re just considering collaboration, forming a new coalition or a long-time coalition that seeks to increase its effectiveness, we welcome you to CoLab.


Our Philosophy

At CNE we know that collaboration is an important tool in every organization’s tool box, but it may not always be the right tool. We also know that collaboration is hard. That it requires long-term commitment across and within organizations. And that there’s no one size fits all model for success. That’s why we we’ve developed a portfolio of programs to help you foster successful collaborative relationships that allow you to achieve greater community impact.

Contact CNE’s Senior Consultant, Mary Davis Hamlin, for more information on CoLab programs.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2017
Designed and developed by Convoy

Contact Us

Center for Nonprofit Excellence
1701-A Allied Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Office Hours

Mon – Thurs: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM