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In his award-winning book The Collaboration Challenge, James E. Austin demonstrated how nonprofits and businesses can succeed through strategic alliances. Now, in Meeting the Collaboration Challenge, the Drucker Foundation provides specific guidance to help nonprofits of every size put collaboration into practice. This workbook, its companion videotape, and The Collaboration Challenge help your nonprofit organization further its mission through strategic alliances with businesses.
|Introduction: Leading Beyond the Walls||vii|
|Using This Workbook and Related Resources||xi|
|Relationships Between Nonprofit Organizations and Businesses||xiii|
|Process Options for Building Understanding||xiii|
|Phase 1||Prepare Your Nonprofit Organization to Meet the Collaboration Challenge||1|
|Process Options for Preparing Your Organization||2|
|Worksheet 1||Identify Assets and Capabilities Your Nonprofit Might Provide in Alliances||3|
|Worksheet 2||Determine Benefits Your Nonprofit Might Seek in Alliances||7|
|Worksheet 3||Review Your Nonprofit's Strategic Goals and Readiness for Developing Alliances||11|
|Worksheet 4||Delegate Responsibilities for Guiding Alliance Development||14|
|Worksheet 5||List Your Nonprofit's Current Relationships with Businesses||16|
|Phase 2||Plan Your Nonprofit Organization's Strategic Alliances with Businesses||17|
|Process Options for Planning Alliances||18|
|Worksheet 6||Map Your Nonprofit's Business Relationships on the Collaboration Continuum||19|
|Worksheet 7||Research Each Potential Alliance to Assess Strategic Fit and Opportunities||21|
|Worksheet 8||Identify Other Businesses with Which Your Nonprofit Might Create Alliances||23|
|Worksheet 9||Design a Marketing Approach for Each Potential Alliance||25|
|Phase 3||Develop Strategic Alliances with Businesses||29|
|Process Options for Developing Alliances||30|
|Worksheet 10||Develop the Purpose and Fit Statement for Each Alliance||31|
|Worksheet 11||Develop the Management Plan for Each Alliance||33|
|Phase 4||Renew Your Nonprofit Organization's Strategic Alliances with Businesses||35|
|Process Options for Alliance Appraisal and Renewal||36|
|Worksheet 12||Prepare for Alliance Appraisal||37|
|Worksheet 13||Update Your Nonprofit's Operating Plan||40|
|Worksheet 14||Review Your Nonprofit's Portfolio of Alliances||42|
|A||Definition of Terms||47|
|B||The Seven C's: Questions for Partners||49|
|C||Factors Influencing the Success of Collaboration||53|
|D||Nonprofit Policies for Alliances with Businesses||57|
|E||Alliance Examples in Meeting the Collaboration Challenge Video||61|
|About the Drucker Foundation||65|
|Customer Feedback Form||67|
1. Identify Assets and Capabilities Your Nonprofit Might Provide in Alliances
2. Determine Benefits Your Nonprofit Might Seek in Alliances
3. Review Your Nonprofit's Strategic Goals and Readiness for Developing Alliances
4. Delegate Responsibilities for Guiding Alliance Development
5. List Your Nonprofit's Current Relationships with Businesses
Process options for PREPARING YOUR ORGANIZATION
Once your nonprofit organization becomes interested in strategic alliances with businesses, a systematic process can prepare the board and staff for meeting the challenges involved. This process can help your nonprofit develop effective alliances and incorporate alliance development into the broader processes of improving effectiveness, resource development, and strategic planning. Phase One is designed to ensure that alliances with businesses are based on a sound foundation that
Acknowledges the assets and capabilities your nonprofit can provide to businesses (Worksheet 1).
Provides benefits for your customers and furthers your mission (Worksheet 2).
Aligns with your strategic goals and is supported by your governance, management, and organizational practices (Worksheet 3).
Is guided by clear delegation of responsibilities within policy guidelines (Worksheet 4).
Allows you to build on your nonprofit's current relationships with businesses (Worksheet 5).
This phase presents opportunities to strengthen the total organization's appreciation of what it can provide in alliances with businesses, what it can gain from these alliances, and what organizational capacity is necessary to create and manage alliances effectively. Governance support (Worksheet 3) and policy guidelines (Worksheet 4) are board responsibilities. However, it is best to be inclusive during this preparation phase and to provide opportunities for discussion with the board, volunteers, and staff.
The worksheets that follow can be used to organize individual input in advance of a meeting or retreat, prepare people for discussions, or structure individual and group work. An attractive option may be to conduct an inclusive two- to three-hour session that begins with the Meeting the Collaboration Challenge Video, showing the full thirty minutes or just the first two examples ("The Fox Cities Children's Museum and Roxanne's Doll Shop" and "City Year and Timberland"). The video examples provide an inspirational and instructive foundation for using Worksheets 1 and 2 to focus on your own nonprofit. Board members, volunteers, and staff can then consider Worksheets 3, 4, and 5 together, or this work can be delegated as appropriate.
Note: When necessary throughout your use of this workbook, please make additional copies of the worksheets provided.
Identify Assets and Capabilities Your Nonprofit Might Provide in Alliances
Building on the assets and capabilities of both partners, successful strategic alliances between nonprofit organizations and businesses provide benefits to both. Nonprofits seek benefits that will further their missions, serve their customers, strengthen their organizations, and achieve desired results: changed lives and changed conditions. In exchange, businesses seek a range of benefits, from enhancing business opportunities to strengthening human resource management to supporting corporate strategies through community improvement.
To prepare for developing effective alliances with businesses, identify the assets and capabilities your nonprofit possesses that may be valuable to businesses. By identifying what your nonprofit can provide alliance partners, you can also determine what types of businesses are most likely to value an alliance with your organization.
Read the following list of assets and capabilities on which nonprofit organizations build alliances with businesses. Briefly describe your organization's assets and capabilities, and indicate the types of business (or specific businesses) that are likely to value them.
Assets and Capabilities Our Nonprofit's Business Likely to Value of Nonprofit Organizations Assets and Capabilities Our Organization
Powerful mission: a compelling purpose, the organization's reason for being
Strong presence: a well-known name, credibility, excellent reputation, attractive logo
Access to potential customers or markets for sales, product development, and testing
Extensive communication or distribution systems
Organizational expertise in job training, child care, research, and so forth
Programs and projects: arts programs, health services, environmental education, and so forth
Volunteer opportunities: individual and team, short-term and long-term
Ability to provide recognition, endorsement, or awards
Access to potential employees to work for a business
Well-known, respected leaders or spokespersons
Access to community leaders and influential people or organizations
Staff and volunteer skills and expertise
Fundraising and financial capacity
Facilities or equipment
Products for use as incentives or giveaways: books, informational pamphlets, museum replicas, and so forth
What, if anything, should we do to clarify and strengthen the assets and capabilities our organization can bring to alliances with businesses?
Determine Benefits Your Nonprofit Might Seek in Alliances
Successful alliances with businesses provide valuable benefits to nonprofit organizations and the communities they serve. Clarity about what benefits your nonprofit is seeking through alliances helps you focus on partners most likely to provide these benefits.
Begin by rating most highly those benefits that will further your organization's mission and are most valued by your primary customers-those whose lives are changed through the organization's work. Also consider additional benefits to the organization. Then specify the resources, recognition, and relationships your nonprofit should seek, and identify businesses that might provide them.
Read the following list of benefits that nonprofits receive in strategic alliances with businesses. Rate how important each type of benefit would be to your organization. For those you rate 3, 4, or 5, briefly describe the specific benefits your nonprofit might seek (such as kinds of services, types of volunteers, and a target amount of funds), and indicate what types of businesses (or specific businesses) might provide them.
Importance (Circle One: Specific Benefits 5 = Extremely Important; Our Nonprofit Might Seek Benefits from 1 = Not at All Important; and Businesses That Business Alliances DK = Don't Know) Might Provide Them
Resources 5 4 3 2 1 DK Program services: services that are valued by our primary customers and that further our mission
5 4 3 2 1 DK Knowledge: information that is helpful to our primary customers or that is useful to our organization
Revenue: income from 5 4 3 2 1 DK donations, grants, cause-related marketing proceeds, or revenues from contracts or fees that exceed performance costs
People: volunteers serving 5 4 3 2 1 DK as board members, event participants, fundraisers, or service providers
Facilities: free or discounted 5 4 3 2 1 DK access to or donations of buildings or other facilities for use by our customers or our organization
Goods: free or discounted 5 4 3 2 1 DK items for distribution to our customers or for use or sale by our organization
Issue awareness: 5 4 3 2 1 DK expanded distribution of messages or information (often through marketing relations and marketing communications) Visibility: distinctive positioning 5 4 3 2 1 DK or image building for our organization or our cause (often through public relations and marketing communications)
Experts: pro bono assistance 5 4 3 2 1 DK for our organization and our primary customers (often with technological, financial, scientific, research, communication, or legal issues)
Introduction to other 5 4 3 2 1 DK businesses and influential people and groups: access to new sources of benefits for our customers and our organization
Specify other: 5 4 3 2 1 DK
Specify other: 5 4 3 2 1 DK
What, if anything, should we do to clarify and rate the benefits our organization might seek from businesses?
Review Your Nonprofit's Strategic Goals and Readiness for Developing Alliances
Alliances with businesses are part of the mix of strategies and tactics that effective nonprofit organizations employ to serve their customers, reach their goals, and achieve desired results. Taken together, a nonprofit's strategic goals are the board-approved vision of the desired future of the organization. Within that framework, board members, volunteers, and staff can examine how alliances fit and can set objectives for alliance projects.
Successful alliances between nonprofits and businesses require that nonprofits have effective leadership and management, high-quality programs, sound finances, and organizational practices open to entrepreneurial activities. Although effective alliances can help strengthen these fundamental organizational capacities, nonprofits need to have a solid foundation on which to build.
In light of opportunities to develop strategic alliances with businesses, your nonprofit should revisit its mission and strategic goals, consider objectives that might involve alliances, and assess its readiness to pursue them. Your nonprofit can then decide how to increase its capability in any areas and whether to proceed to develop alliances or to wait until improvements are made.
Write your nonprofit's mission, and then address the following questions about your nonprofit's strategic goals and organizational readiness, providing examples wherever possible.
Our Nonprofit's Examples Comments and Concerns
Strategic goals: What aspects of our vision for the organization's future can alliances help us realize?
Effective governance: In what ways does our board demonstrate its capacity to establish sound policy, set clear direction, make timely decisions, delegate appropriately, and appraise performance?
Effective management: In what ways do we demonstrate our ability to systematically plan, implement, and evaluate major initiatives?
Quality programs: What are the programs and services that demonstrate our organization's ability to achieve results?
Sound finances: In what ways is alliance development integrated with our overall resource development activities? do we have sound financial systems so that alliances with businesses can be managed effectively?
Positive organizational culture: How have we demonstrated an openness to entrepreneurial activities, including seeking new opportunities, welcoming challenges, investing in new initiatives, undertaking reasonable risks, and learning from our experiences, whether or not they are successful?
Given our answers to these questions, how ready is our nonprofit to develop strategic alliances with businesses?
What, if anything, should our nonprofit undertake to strengthen its capability to develop and manage alliances (such as board, volunteer, and staff training or a resource development or strategic planning process)?
Should we begin developing strategic alliances while we strengthen our capabilities, or should we wait for specific improvements?
If we begin developing strategic alliances, how should we limit, if at all, the number or scope of alliance projects given our current organizational capacity?
Delegate Responsibilities for Guiding Alliance Development
Developing and managing strategic alliances with businesses involves a range of tasks, from the exploration of specific alliance options through planning alliance activities to periodic review of the entire alliance portfolio. These responsibilities are often guided by a small task group of board and staff members, usually led by the chief executive or an appointed executive staff member and a board member. These groups tend to include people experienced in resource development, project management, marketing, finance, public relations, and communications, as well as those with contacts in the business community. (Sometimes consultants are retained to provide planning or decision-making facilitation or expert advice on capacity building or alliance development.) This task group is responsible for regular communication about alliance development and for seeking governance and management attention whenever appropriate.
Because of the many questions that can arise regarding relationships between nonprofits and businesses, nonprofit boards need to set parameters on ethical matters such as conflicts of interest, product endorsements, and acceptable types of business partners and practices. Additional policy areas may also be addressed. It is a governance responsibility to make sure your nonprofit has adequate guidelines for developing strategic alliances. Appendix D presents a summary of nonprofit policy areas related to alliances and a sample policy statement.
At this point it is important to decide who should undertake the responsibilities for developing alliances with businesses, determine what policy guidelines are needed, and define next steps.
Summarize your nonprofit's answers to the following questions to delegate responsibilities for guiding alliance development.]
Excerpted from Meeting the Collaboration Challenge Workbook by Peter F. Drucker Excerpted by permission.
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