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December 08, 2010

Contemplating Collaboration

Collaboration in the philanthropic sector has been a hot topic in recent years, and is happening on the side of both grantmakers and grantseekers. For grantmakers, collaboration can take the form of pooling funds or resources, sharing data, joint ventures, or strategic alignments. A number of reports detail the success of some of these efforts, detailing benefits, challenges, and lessons learned. 

-Moving Ideas and Money: Issues and Opportunities in Funder Funding Collaboration - describes forms of collaboration and element of successful collaboration

- Funder Collaboratives: Why and How Funders Work Together - details issues in designing and running a collaborative 

- Some case studies also illustrate lessons learned by collaborative initiatives: Accomplishments of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2000-2010Lessons From a Ten-Year Funder Collaborative: A Case Study of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, and From Crisis to Opportunity: Learning From One Region's Response to the Economic Downturn

These were all taken from a great PhilanTopic post on funder collaboration by PubHub manager Kyoko Uchida - check it out for more in depth summaries and links to even more publications.

But there's also collaboration on the grantseeking side of the spectrum as well. The Foundation Center has a page dedicated to nonprofit collaboration resources. The database has real-life example of how nonprofits are working together, and there are also videos, podcasts, reports, and article all relating to collaboration.

Finally, for a different form of collaboration, take a look at the article Collective Impact on the Stanford Social Innovation Review, which argues that large-scale social change requires "broad cross-sector coordination" and give some fascinating examples of the principle at work. 

It may be a lot to look at, but could give you some ideas about whether your vision could be better accomplished with some form of collaboration. 

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