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Live Chat

Can Collaborative Fundraising Work for You?

Aug 24, 2012

(Can't see the chat window on this page? Click here to open it in a popup window.)

It may sound counterintuitive, but nonprofits that raise funds together can reap more benefits -- income, visibility, public goodwill, and so on -- than they would by working alone.

Key points made in this live chat:

  • Collaborative fundraising leads to larger donor base, more major donors, and more chance to interact with donors
  • Having a specific goal and campaign plan helps partner orgs negotiate the relationships
  • Joint case-building is critical and ensures that everyone focuses on a common goal
  • Keep core committee small with "do-ers" and delegate tasks that will involve all partner orgs - one partner shouldn't do all the work
  • For corporate sponsors, collaborations should make a bigger ask since sponsors would get more than twice the visibility and outreach - a collaborative fundraising effort should realize at least twice the revenue value
  • Trust, communication, time are key to successful partnerships, so first cultivate relationships with other orgs by other means, like sharing back office functions or sharing decision process on community awards

Click on the chat window above for the full transcript.

Find more examples at the Collaboration Hub, where you can search a collection of 650+ profiles of nonprofit collaborations and browse additional resources on this topic.

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Jonathan Howard

Jonathan Howard is a fundraiser who co-founded Cause & Effect consulting services in 1996 and recently interviewed several nonprofits who did collaborative fundraising for various projects. He has worked on assignments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Japan, Turkey, and other countries. Previously he was Communications Coordinator at PLAN International’s global headquarters, with responsibility for internal communications to a worldwide, multilingual staff and for providing video, photography and story materials from more than 30 program countries to fundraising affiliates in Europe, Asia and North America. Read more...

Jeffrey Ouellette

Jeffrey Ouellette is director of development for Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA. Central Square Theater is the parent entity for two resident theater companies, The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater. As such, Central Square Theater handles all fundraising, business and artistic administration operations for the two nonprofit theater companies, allowing them to focus on their individual artistic missions.  Mr. Ouellette has served previously in development and artistic administration for Brown University, the New York Philharmonic, and opera companies in the US and Canada. He also has served on the board of directors of the New England Development Research Association (NEDRA).