Collaboration vs Competition

Thursday January 2, 2020 comments Tags: nonprofit, accounting, mission, vision, collaboration


Any accounting business or tax advice in this podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of specific issues nor substitutes for formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax related penalties. If you need any help with that, please reach out.


Today I want to talk to you about collaboration versus competition. In the nonprofit space, some feel like, Oh my gosh, I can't talk to that organization or I can't share resources with that organization because we're going after the same donors. That is a lie. It is not a competition for donors. If you are clear about your mission, you don't need to compete with another organization for donors.  What you need to do is collaborate with those with other organizations. So the definition of competition is opposition of foe, an enemy. It's a contest and if you are a purpose driven leader who's all about how much, how can we make an impact for our community? You want to think more about collaboration. This is working together. This is forming an alliance because for you it's all about your community. It's not personal. It is for the community. So you want to think about how is your who and what's aligned with another organization. So that's where those five words that you're using internally can be really helpful because you can think about what organizations are also using those five words, who are also working with these children, who's also working to get this goal of hope. When you can group the people who are in the same sphere of you as you in terms of who you're serving and what you're trying to do for those people, collaboration is much, much easier because you're very different.

And what, what's helpful is that now you can pull resources. For example, this out here in Colorado where I'm based, we have an event called Colorado gives day. This is where the community first foundation gets all Colorado organizations. They try to get them on their platform and they say on this one day, everyone in Colorado is going to donate. And we had a client who decided to collaborate with other organizations in their area. So other organizations who are like, Hey, we serve people in this community. They said, okay, let's partner together. They decided to put out, um, money to buy ads on buses so that people in the community would see, Oh my gosh, that bus go by and no, Colorado gives day is coming up. These organizations are working together. And what happened was that they raised twice as much money with that campaign as they had the previous year trying to do ads on their own.

And that's the beauty of collaboration versus competition. You go further together than you will alone. So think about those things when you're thinking about how do I reach out to people and reach out to donors, think about how are you collaborating because donors want to help and they don't want to feel like they have to choose another thing. Um, that organization did, they decided to do a, a one of those dining out nights. So all those organizations they put together for that bus decided, okay, we're going to say we're going to this restaurant. And if you give proceeds, it'll be divided upon the group. Now they could all pool, they have way more together than they would separately. Cause now there's a larger pool of people. It's not just 20 people from one organization, it's 20 people from five organizations. So that's a hundred people coming in for dinner and saying, we want to give back.

Oh my gosh, Oh, I hadn't heard about this. Let me give a little bit more. People want to support you. But it's hard if they feel like they're divided there, that you're competing against each other. You're not, you're collaborating, you have a partnership, but they want to partner with you. They want to see you all succeed. So that's one way that when you're looking at your mission and you're distilling it down, it'll help you find a path to collaboration because now you can have those groupings of peoples for based off of your faces that you can reach out to collaborate with. So that's your homework. After you've distilled down your words about the who and the what. Think about what are some other organizations around you that are also serving that those groups of people or doing that thing that you can collaborate with and go a little bit further and serve a little bit more people. Hope this was helpful. Hope this reduces a little bit of the overwhelm, helps me feel a little less less anxious about the money for your organization. Tag us on social media. We are at @cnrgadvisory. You can also use the hashtag #nonprofitnuggetspodcast.

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