Collaboration is the Secret Ingredient

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about “the Power of Partnership.” Recently, I’ve been thinking about our partners and how we collaborate for greater impact. Many of the ideas I explored previously still hold true.

Our open call challenges continue to encourage cooperation, cross-pollination, and collaboration among donors and social change organizations. In a rapidly evolving world, this approach is key to achieving greater impact and advancing social change.

There are substantial benefits to consistent collaboration between funders and nonprofit organizations, as well as among each other:

  1. Increased efficiency: By working together, organizations can better use their resources, improve their planning and execution, and achieve more with less.
  2. Greater impact: Funders and nonprofit organizations can make a greater difference in addressing social issues by sharing their expertise and pooling their resources.
  3. More effective problem-solving: Our challenges offer problem solvers a rare opportunity to think big and tell donors what interventions they think are needed to address the social issues at hand.

Through collaborations supported by the funding we have helped activate, 20,640 new entrepreneurs in Uganda and Ethiopia will establish 6,880 new businesses, one million refugees across at least 10 countries will gain the support they need to survive and thrive over the next five years, and 10 million Texans will have access to the mental health care they deserve.

These are just some of the people and communities who are benefitting from the connections we have made between funders and problem solvers. By taking a holistic and equitable approach, which our model encourages, funders and nonprofit organizations can find sustainable solutions that address the root causes of problems.

Together, all parties can achieve a greater impact and create lasting change by pooling their resources, sharing their expertise, and taking a holistic approach to problem-solving.

Cecilia Conrad, CEO, Lever for Change

According to an article by Inside Philanthropy, the wealthiest Americans are sitting on $4 trillion. This staggering amount of wealth represents an enormous opportunity for communities around the world. Imagine if we could unlock even a fraction of this money for philanthropic causes. Collectively and in collaboration with each other, we could ignite movements and help address some of the most pressing social and economic challenges.

So, how can we build on this concept of collaboration? The first step is to build trust between parties. Funders and nonprofit organizations must be willing to collaborate, foster open communication, and share their ideas. Funders should consider working with peers and in joint initiatives, while nonprofits can pool resources and collaborate with other organizations to achieve greater impact. Most importantly, we listen to the experts on a given issue: the people who experience its consequences first-hand. Together, all parties can achieve a greater impact and create lasting change by pooling their resources, sharing their expertise, and taking a holistic approach to problem-solving.

Simply giving money is not enough. To truly make a difference, organizations must collaborate if they want to ensure the funding is being used effectively and sustainably.

Lever for Change is a prime example of how collaboration can lead to increased efficiency, greater impact, and more effective problem-solving. We are not the only collaborative model: we align with other groups like ICONIQ Impact, Focusing Philanthropy, Co-Impact, Blue Meridian, the End Fund, the Audacious Project, and the Climate Leadership Initiative, to name a few. By bringing funders and problem solvers together, we enable them to pool their resources, share their expertise, and work together to achieve their philanthropic goals.

Let's embrace the spirit of collaboration and work together to make a greater difference in the world!

Cecilia Conrad

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