Collaboration and Partnership

About this collection: This Content Collection includes a variety of stories of funders engaged in successful collaborations, as well as tips and tools for how to make the most of your relationships with fellow funders and grantees.

Whether working in a funder collaborative or finding ways to better partner with the grantees you support, collaboration and partnership is often at the heart of effective and impactful family philanthropy. This Content Collection includes a variety of stories of funders engaged in successful collaborations, as well as tips and tools for how to make the most of your relationships with fellow funders and grantees.

Collaboration with Other Funders: Tips and Stories

Shh…Be Quiet and Listen

If there’s one thing I’m hearing in sessions and social hours at NCFP’s 20th Anniversary Forum, it’s about how important it is in family philanthropy to listen.

Donor Collaboratives: Maximizing Your Philanthropic Impact

NCFP’s 2015 Trends in Family Philanthropy study found that more than 90 percent of respondents cited the “impact of their giving” as the top motivation for their participation in family philanthropy. This same study found that just 45 percent of family foundations participate in efforts with other funders. If grant makers are …

The Story of How the Civil Marriage Collaborative Helped America Embrace Marriage Equality

There were many forces at work in this historic change: tenacious leaders and litigators, coalitions of diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations, straight individual and organizational allies, elected officials, celebrities, and most important, hundreds of thousands of individuals, couples and families at the grassroots level.

Power of Partnership – The Tow Foundation

Partnership is an essential survival tool and, for the best nonprofits, is a well-practiced art. So now, as we find that new opportunities for collaborative work are being presented from an administration that sees the benefit of public/private partnership, we are ready and able to seize the moment. The …

Donor Collaboration: Power in Numbers

While donor collaboration is not a new concept, it has gained currency as funders seek to have an impact on ever more complex problems, while realizing that their individual giving will generally not be sufficient to make the kind of difference they desire. At the same time, our inter-connected world …

Why And How Funders Work Together

When it comes to funder collaboratives, is the whole truly greater than the sum of its parts? Can foundations make a bigger impact with grant dollars by working together than by going it alone? Yes, grantmakers say, as long as members define their goals, set clear operational guidelines, and work …

Partnering with Your Grantees and Community

Hey Foundation Trustees, Come Get a Beer with Us

We nonprofits work with program officers, and despite many of them being really nice and down-to-earth people, the power differential can make them intimidating and scary. This is how we nonprofit professionals imagine a meeting of (even scarier) foundation trustees:

“Change Happens at the Speed of Trust”

We knew we had to change the dynamic. We began by changing how we show up as individuals and as an institution. The goal here was to listen with new ears – to get past our own experience, and strive to hear the lived experiences of those impacted by issues the …

“Pretty Good Tools” for Collaboration, Strategy, and Partnership

If you’re a philanthropy practitioner — staff member or trustee — these tools should be useful. The Giving Practice works with foundations and philanthropy organizations of all types and sizes, and they hear common questions and dilemmas. The Giving Practice's consultants are developed Pretty Good Tools to help you with the …

Walking the Talk: Striving for Authentic Partnership with Our Grantees

In November, PFF Program Officer Laura McCargar joined Michael Moody of the Johnson Center for Family Philanthropy and NCFP Fellow and Board Member Katherine Lorenz of the George and Cynthia Mitchell Foundation at the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference in Houston, Texas to talk about collaboration in the context of …

Collaborative Inquiry Among Grantmakers and Grantees

Many grantmakers champion the idea of using evaluation to improve grantee effectiveness or advance a field of practice. It's a worthy endeavor, but how can you make it happen in the real world? This guide explores an increasingly popular method called "collaborative inquiry."

NCFP Webinars and Teleconferences

January 14, 2016

Collaborating Across Power Differences

Power dynamics can really get in the way when you are trying to build a healthy, strong organization. If family foundations and their grantee partners don’t see eye to eye, or if junior members of the family pose challenges to their board leaders or elders, the back-and-forth struggle isn’…
March 12, 2009

Building Trust to Promote Community Collaboration

Problems in a community can be hard to solve when the people involved don’t communicate with each other because of their conflicting values across religious, cultural, political, social and other divides. On this teleconference, hear how the Ruth Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, worked with the Public Conversations Project …
October 2, 2008

Engaging Stakeholders for Better Grantmaking

We hear more and more these days about working with grantees as partners. But how is that really done? And does it truly make the work of your foundation more effective? Courtney Bourns, Director of Programs for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations offers strategies for authentically engaging grantees and other community …