1) Fear of losing donors to the partner organization. The truth is, people donate on average to 7 organizations. When you promote your partner rather than fear them, chances are that you won’t lose a donor but your partner might gain a donor. And vice versa.
2) Control: who gets the final say when you partner. Too often non-profits don’t work together because it comes down to who gets the final say on things. But if you make things equitable for all, this shouldn’t be an issue.
3) Messaging: how do you communicate the partnership to those outside the organization and who’s name goes first. I propose you mix it up a little.
4) Lack of awareness: not all organizations know who is working on the same issue as them. This is no ones fault, but if you are doing work in just has to do with a little bit of research to find out who is doing what in the community you are serving.
5) Credit: who gets the credit for doing the work? The answer should be that you both do. When you get to the point that you don’t care about credit, it might just be that credit ends up coming to you.
At Giving Children Hope we only work on partnerships. That means that every project is in partnership with another organization and in partnership with those who are helping to fund the project. Bottom line, we’re all in it together. Not every organization wants to partner though and we do run into those that only want to fly solo.
The non-profit community is waking up to the fact that we have to partner because people are holding us accountable to partner together. Hopefully we also realize we’re more effective in our work that way. So, here’s to seeing more non-profits realize that everyone wins when you work together…especially those that you are serving.