4-1 discussion: growth opportunities for not-for-profit organizations

In your responses to your peers, comment on their recommended growth strategy, ask clarifying questions, and challenge their thinking.

Response #1

Don Winn posted Oct 5, 2020 7:34 PMSubscribe

One path a nonprofit can take to grow their organization is through a partnership; they tend to be more of formal relationship that can complement each other’s products and services.  By engaging in these formal relationships with other organizations nonprofits can reach larger audiences and meet their mission and objectives quicker than if they operated by themselves.  As we read this week with the 3C Model; represents cooperation, coordination and collaboration.  This new relationship grows with increasing engagement and commitment by the members of the partnership. Its very important that both partners share the mission, and culture of each other’s organizations, along with resources, capabilities, and risks (Worth, 2019). 

The advantages of partnerships can be very rewarding; there are financial and environmental benefits of two organizations sharing costs and office space to reduce overhead for each organization.  In some cases, the partnership allows both parties to share the same clients who they aim to serve and often provide complimentary services to one another (Worth, 2019).  When a nonprofit and for-profit engage in a partnership it gives the for-profit an opportunity to improve their own social purpose by working with a true nonprofit.  The benefit the nonprofit gets in return with working with a for-profit is the larger network of supporters and exposure to possible donors to their cause.  Having two organizations combine their resources and infrastructure allows for grow opportunities for both parties involved (Expert Panel, Forbes 2020).

There are some challenges involved in these partnerships; when two organizations don’t share the same strategies for success there can be conflict and issues within the partnership.  Another challenge is the nature of the egos from the leaders of each organization, are they just worried about their own interests and how much they can grow their bottom line?  How do divide the powder amongst the leaders when many think they have all the right answers?   One last challenge to mention is the upfront resources and costs associated with a partnership can be high, especially if the partnership fails the expenses occurred may put one or both organizations in a financial crisis just to get out of the partnership.  The bad publicity from the aftermath of split may paint a negative picture for the organizations as well (Worth, 2019).

The type of organizations that may benefit from a partnership would be those organizations who have similar interests and missions in a specific area of service, but their capabilities vary enough to complement each other’s services.   For example. The NH Food Bank is a large supplier/distribution channel of food for many local agencies serving nonprofits throughout the state.  Another nonprofit organization Catholic Charities of NH works closely with the NH Food Bank to support the many organizations in NH who provide meals for families (NHfoodbank.org).  Another reference from our reading this week was when a natural disaster strikes, American Red Cross teams up with Fed EX and Home depot to get much needed suppliers to the areas hit hardest as quickly as possible (Worth, 2019).

I feel the collaborative strategy gives the David’s House both the flexibility and exposure needed to meet the needs of the families who they assist and support.  They share a collaborative relationship with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center which allows both organizations to work together, support programs and provided the David House with a talented pool of medical resources.  The David House operates in a small NH community, collaborating with local business, colleges, leaders and medical organizations just makes good sense for the services and assistance they provide to families in need (Olmstead, 2020).    

Expert Panel, Forbes (2020).  Six big benefits nonprofits can gain from for-profit partnership. https://forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2020/05/19/six-big-benefits-nonprofits-can-gain-from-for-profit-partnerships/#3499b0782a8b


Olmstead, J. (2020) Interview: Jaye Olmstead, Executive Director.  David’s House. 

Worth, M. J. (2019) Nonprofit Management: Principles and practices (5th ed.) Sage publication

Response #2

Evan Sinrich posted Oct 7, 2020 1:14 PMSubscribe

           Growth for an organization one key to success for fulfilling your mission. For nonprofits, the growth allows for expanded awareness and funding, to further the cause. Depending on the size and vision for the nonprofit determines the outlook for the plans for that growth strategy. 

In any workforce or organization, one word that has risen to attain true notoriety, is collaboration. Rarely a day goes by where I don’t hear this term used, as we work together towards our shared goals. In essence, that is what the goal of collaboration is meant to accomplish; separate groups or organizations working together to achieve an objective (Worth, 2019). The area that I feel is most beneficial for growth is when the collaboration is formed through a strategic alliance or strategic collaboration. This pairing is established to harness the strengths of both organizations to better their current position (National Council of Nonprofits, 2020). In short, both organizations bring their platform to the table to leverage the best elements to further raise awareness, funding or credibility. I think the strategic collaboration brings an instant credibility factor to your organization, when you align with an established organization. This could bring in new donors or volunteers, that previously would not be familiar with your business. These collaborations are strategic in nature but rely heavily on trust to ensure all the organizations benefit from this alliance. One downside could be viewed that your organization was unable to “break-through” to the masses, and you needed to resort to assistance to obtain that goal. While that is a downside, collaborations are very common practice and typically would not be looked down upon, if an organization utilized that path. Another downside could be sharing the spotlight for success. Some organizations like to be a pioneer and take full credit for their accomplishments. In the strategic collaboration, you would have to give credit to those you aligned with. I think this growth strategy would best be served by a medium to large organization, with an already established base. This would allow for each organization who you collaborate with to mutually benefit equally, from this alliance. Both organizations would bring in equal stakes and benefit equally in the return.

For my organization, I can see the strategic collaboration as the best method for their growth. In researching the organization, they have tapped into this method in the establishment of their scientific leadership board, and their overall programmatic strategy. The Lustgarten Foundation is a leading pancreatic research nonprofit and utilizes collaboration often for their growth. To help with the broadcasting and to spread awareness in the hopes of attracting new donors, Lustagarten works with the National Basketball Association as well as Cablevision. To bring in instant credibility to this foundation, they collaborate with medical leaders at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and many others. This will allow for patients to become aware of important clinical trials and potentially get involved with the research testing groups. They harness the best minds from each of those strong organizations to better the development of new trials and drug therapeutics. The American Cancer institute also partnered with Lustgarten to help with funding and to promote the clinical trial information. This allows for both organizations to raise awareness and participation for cancer patients with the ultimate goal of one-day eradicating pancreatic cancer. 


National Council of Nonprofits, (2020). Mergers, collaborations, and strategic 

Alliances; as retrieved from: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/mergers-collaborations-and-strategic-alliances

Worth, M.J. (2019). Nonprofit management principles and practice 5th ed.    

Thousand       Oaks, CA: CQ Press Sage Publications

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