For-profit businesses create partnerships and merge on daily basis. So much so that entire niche industries have evolved to support such efforts. The decision to collaborate is driven by improved efficiencies and thus profitability, which in the for-profit world is the most objective measure of efficacy. Similarly, we can translate some of those lessons into not-for-profit space. For example, how to better use existing resources or how to tap into assets we don’t currently have access to and maybe how to streamline and avoid duplication? All this is in service of making an IMPACT.

How do we collaborate?

At Robert L. Conconi Foundation, we believe collaboration is the answer when it comes to making real and lasting impact. We collaborate with like-minded donors, businesses, quasi-government institutions and not-for-profit organizations.

This past June, we partnered with the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice – BC’s only pediatric palliative care provider, and also North America’s first such institution a true leader in this field. Our partnership focused on collaborative fundraising effort. Through our annual Conconi Challenge, RLCF donated $200,000 and together with Canuck Place team developed and executed a matching campaign that in total raised over $400,000 for the charity.

Why do we collaborate?

In the case of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice this was a charity + funder collaboration. The work involved various departments at both organizations and about 4 weeks of planning and 6 weeks of execution. The reason to do it was simple: greater brand awareness and funding opportunity in a typically slow part of the fundraising cycle. Timing was also a key factor in deciding to collaborate in this way – just like in the for-profit world timing does matter. This is an instance where a funder, in addition to writing a cheque could add a great deal of value to the charity or not-for profit organization. Sometimes the organizations forget that their funders can be a useful resource beyond “cheque writing” and that “asks” can take many forms. We’ll go as far as saying that sometimes donors can be the most underutilized assets.

In the context of this collaboration a few things we as a funder/donor considered going in:

  • Donate some funds and help crowd-fund the balance of target amount ($400K)
  • Be a charity champion and help raise awareness of the need and great work they do
  • Help engage new donors
  • Help ignite new flames and re-initiate contact with laps donors
  • Drive extra funding in a typically slow fundraising month

Over the next few weeks, through our blog series, we will explore this topic further. We will continue to use the Conconi Canuck Place Challenge as a case study and you will get to hear from their side as well.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you – how do you harness the power of collaboration? Comment below or share with us on social media:

Facebook: Robertlconconifoundation

Twitter: @ConconiFndn

Linkedin: Robert L. Conconi Foundation

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