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Maximize Collaborative Impact (Part 2)

Leverage Human Capital Resources

Agency staff are the non- profit’s most precious resource. Individuals who are drawn to work at non- profit agencies are attracted by the vision, and sustained by the knowledge that they are solving the world’s problems, one person at a time. It is therefore imperative for non- profit leaders to empower staff to be their best selves, promote a sense of competence and self-efficacy, and place the right people in the right positions, to amplify productivity and job satisfaction. I caution against placing “square skills in round roles”. In addition, it is crucial for leaders to understand the impact of organizational change upon staff, whether pre- planned or unplanned, as well as common barriers which affect individual responses to change. The bottom line is that the collaborative partnership, although initiated by executive leadership, is ultimately carried out by middle management and staff on the front lines of each organization. Without adequate empathy, competence and healthy human capital resources at all levels within each partnering agency, the failure of the joint venture is inevitable.

Maximize Agency Funding and Donor Return on Investment (ROI)

Collaborative partnerships inherently seek ways to streamline operating budgets and administrative costs, to magnify successful client outcomes. Independent agencies are hard-pressed to achieve this in isolation, due to limited financial resources and staffing constraints. Creating operational abundance through collaboration ensures that service contract funds and donor dollars go farther and work harder, through the creation of lean, effective operating budgets. These budgets can be compared pre- and post- collaboration, and both the immediate and long-term savings can be calculated and disseminated through quarterly and annual reports. In addition, funders and donors can be reassured that the fiscal stewardship of the collaborative relationship has now doubled or tripled the impact that their donation has made in the community. Essentially, you have effectively found a way to do even more with less. Imagine what you could do with MORE!

Streamline Service Provisions

Providing a direct service, which positively correlates with staffing capacity and ratios, by far serves as one of the largest line items in any non- profit agency’s operational budget. Strategic collaborative partnerships help to dramatically reduce the cost of providing direct services, namely by reducing redundancies in policies, procedures and workflows. In addition, collaborative partnerships between agencies often result in collaborative partnerships within agencies, resulting in the remediation of poor internal systems and structures, as well as the elimination of departmental silos. It’s like finding resources, which can now be reallocated towards the development new service and product offerings. We LOVE supporting agencies in this area!

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