October 3, 2013
There are many benefits for nonprofits that participate in collaborative efforts to achieve their mission. When multiple nonprofits come together – for a single event or continuous program – they can extend their reach, share financial resources and learn from each other. This concept is certainly not a new one, but may be more tempting as nonprofits face funding shortfalls.
The extent to which two or more nonprofits collaborate will vary greatly depending each organization's goals and resources. In some cases, it could be as permanent as a merger or as simple as splitting the rent on a shared space for a fundraiser. The decision to fully merge with another NPO and share a corporate structure should not be taken lightly and may even require an outside consultant, according to Forbes. A merger is more likely when two nonprofits with similar missions are both in dire financial straights or struggling for resources. While mergers provide many benefits beyond budget relief, financial strain is usually the driving force.
The decision to collaborate and remain separate organizations requires less consideration, as the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks. Two organizations serving the same area may have different missions, but share some intersections of programs and services. A nonprofit committed to fighting diabetes and another committed to helping the elderly may both offer free blood glucose tests. Instead of finding different locations and hiring different diagnostic services, the two could easily share costs and resources for a more efficient program. If both organizations have offered free screenings before, they will bring unique experiences to the collaborative effort.
An example of a large collaborative effort with a common goal is the First Nonprofit Unemployment Savings Program. A partnership among over 1,000 nonprofits utilizing an alternative funding option not available to the private, for-profit sector to reduce their unemployment insurance costs. The program allows numerous nonprofits to opt out of the state unemployment tax system without being exposed to the risk and uncertainty of self-insuring and at the same time achieve savings that may be redirected to support their mission and community.
A large number of organizations working together on a single initiative creates a great forum for an exchange of ideas. Nonprofits can evaluate how each achieves its goals when given similar funding and programs in a group initiative. Even in a broader effort, which does not require nonprofits to work directly with one another, organizations should make the effort to communicate.
First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.
First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.
Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.
FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!
Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.
FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.
When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.
First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!