How we collaborate matters greatly. A few years ago, I supported a national foundation in bringing together a group of state-based funders to address educational inequities in their state. Though the goal was clear, the national foundation’s intentions and agenda were not as transparent. After a few intimate convenings, one brave regional funder asked the national foundation the question many had been wondering: “Why did you bring us together?”
This is a moment that will define us as a nonprofit sector. It calls on us to look deeply at our humanity, examine our own actions and biases, and recognize, as the Heinz Endowments’ Grant Oliphant wrote, that “this, too, is America.” This hatred is part of the U.S. as well as the love we hold so deeply.
What happened in Charlottesville is not new and, for many, not
At Community Wealth Partners, we’ve been about big ideas since the time of our founding. Billy Shore, our founder and the CEO of our parent organization, Share Our Strength, recognized that we would never solve social problems with donations alone. The social sector needed new—and significantly more—resources. Billy envisioned an organization that could help the sector think creatively about how to generate alternative streams of revenue so that one
The families most impacted by inequities in the U.S. don’t need to study research about how the education, health and criminal justice systems are interconnected. They see it in their daily lives. When a main breadwinner is out of jail and employed, family members are better equipped to get to a critical doctor’s appointment, pay for food and rent, be attentive in school and participate in extracurricular activities.
As the social sector increasingly recognizes the importance of addressing the root causes of systemic challenges, it is becoming more critical to form strong partnerships. Partnerships have myriad benefits for individual organizations—from boosting efficiency to growing their influence—but the true potential of partnerships is transformational. If we can forge meaningful partnerships, we can help change systems.
Yet forming a partnership that effectively brings distinct groups together—each with its own
In the days following the Trump administration’s Jan. 27 executive order to ban immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, many social sector leaders confronted the question of whether to speak publicly about their organizations’ perspectives on the ban. One group of more than 190 philanthropic and philanthropy-supporting organizations decided to sign a joint statement that criticized the executive order and called for policies that “reflect our nation’s founding principles,