When organizations collaborate, they can maximize their impact.
By Missy Sheehan
The world is moving too fast to keep pace alone. We are past the time for debating whether collaboration makes sense,” concludes Art Taylor, President and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance (WGA), in an article on nonprofit collaboration (2017).
While Taylor was addressing nonprofits, his advice applies to any organization hoping to achieve a goal — whether that goal includes doing good in the world or simply increasing its bottom line.
When we work together, we can achieve more. The power of a collective effort takes us farther than we could ever go by ourselves.
There’s no limit to what we can do when we collaborate. “I think that we would have exponentially more innovation and solutions to our problems — exponentially greater outcomes,” Taylor said during an interview for TRUSTED.
Organizations both small and large can benefit from working with like-minded entities. “I think every organization should collaborate,” Taylor said. “Even if you’re an organization that has all the money in the world, you probably need to collaborate. Why? Because money doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have the best ideas.”
We live in an age when information and creativity are rapidly distributed across organizations and industries, according to Taylor. More people are experimenting and innovating than ever before. “Companies know this,” he said. “A company must augment the talent, skills, and experience of its employees with outside ideas to stay on top of its industry. They have to find ways to partner with others who are creating and innovating in ways that they are not.”
Taylor said collaboration is especially important in the social good arena. “There are all sorts of opportunities now to provide social good that didn’t exist before that are requiring organizations to do not only the work that they currently do but also to be innovative,” he said.
So how exactly can organizations work together to achieve more? In his article, Taylor offers nine considerations for nonprofits looking to maximize social impact through collaboration. These considerations can apply to businesses interested in collaboration, too.
The No. 1 consideration Taylor mentions is building trust.
Trust is a major currency in society today and will be in the foreseeable future,” he said. “If people are going to work together, if they’re going to make an impact, they have to be trustworthy.”
As a standards-based charity evaluator that connects donors with trustworthy charities, BBB WGA is leading the charge to encourage trust and collaboration between organizations. BBB WGA highlights the benefits of working together through its online “Advancing Collaboration” hub, which includes a collaboration of 12 experts in the nonprofit field — including Taylor — who wrote articles on the subject, as well as videos featuring the authors.
The article series was produced as part of a partnership between BBB WGA and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, a publication by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
To read the articles, watch the videos, and find other relevant resources, including an Advancing Collaboration pledge, visit give.org/AdvancingCollaboration.