1.Advocacy An organized nonprofit sector could deploy such tactics
as cultivating awareness of policy makers regarding nonprofit issues, legislative alerts, lobbying, and sustaining revenue
streams. Some sub-sectors of the nonprofit sector do carry out this function in terms of their individual interests, however
some general issues that impact all nonprofits may require a broader united effort in order to be effective.
Despite concerns that it would be difficult to find a single policy agenda relevant to the diverse organizations that
make up sector, the reality is that legislation is passed regularly that impacts all nonprofits regardless of their individual
Finally, it is important to further educate all nonprofits about allowable activities in the area of advocacy and the
effective use of advocacy tools.
2.Collective purchasing power
For many small to medium size nonprofits
it is virtually impossible to receive meaningful discounts for D & O insurance, health insurance, travel, office supplies
and equipment, technology upgrades, printing, employee benefits and other necessities that ALL nonprofits need. Forming a
substantial network of many nonprofits would allow you to receive the same discounts as larger organizations.
Using the advanced technology that is available
to us today, it would be relatively simple to establish an interactive portal where the exchange of information crucial to
all nonprofits occurs. Information on training and development, best practices for all areas of our work, job listings and
many other areas of importance to you.
Such a information hub may also become a source for dialogue amongst nonprofit leaders regarding further collaborative
and networking efforts.
4.Training and Technical Assistance
By organizing within the nonprofit
sector and coordinating our efforts more efficiently, we can provide better and more training and technical assistance to
empower all nonprofits to fulfill their missions. Training providers in our community need to work more closely together and
find better ways to disseminate information about available trainings.
In addition, we need to join together and share our limited resources to bring more and better trainings into the sector.
We need trainings that assist nonprofits at all different sizes and levels of growth. As it is, many of our current trainings
speak only to the middle, leaving out those in the introductory and advanced stages of learning. (Many grassroot nonprofit
are financially unable to afford the cost of currently offered training workshops and seminars.)
Imagine a group of fifteen nonprofits joining together to bring in a national expert in some area where training is desperately
needed. One nonprofit may not be able to afford this, but fifteen could. Imagine larger nonprofits opening their doors to
maller ones and allowing those smaller nonprofits to attend their trainings.
5.Strategic Partnerships & Collaboration
Building strategic partnerships
and collaboration within the nonprofit sector as well as with the public and for-profit sectors is a way to maximize effectiveness
while building clout and visibility as well as serve to increase access to resources to serve our missions.
It would also
be great to find ways to reduce unnecessary competition, reduce duplication of services through mergers and other efforts
to consolidate service delivery when appropriate.
A unified nonprofit sector can increase public awareness
regarding the value and contributions we make to our communities.
Working together the nonprofit sector can develop a media and a public relations campaign targeted at policy makers,
corporations, foundations and other funders, and the general public.
Imagine going to a donor and asking for $100 and having them say, "only $100? I know what you do is so important. I am
going to give you $1,000." The for-profit world does this all the time through collaborations, associations and networks,
why don't we? Fundraising is one need that all nonprofits regardless of their mission have in common.
We need to regularly capture and communicate real evidence of the economic and social impact of the nonprofit sector
in our communities. By doing this, we could help to reate leadership that values nonprofits and would foster greater community
involvement and support for the work of nonprofit organizations.
By working together we could create nonprofit incubators
to help support fledgling nonprofits and help reduce unnecessary duplication, create sector wide standards of excellence and
accountability, standardize funding applications to simplify the grant-seeking process and increase research and education
for the sector.
Some of these benefits may seem like grand dreams that are not possible but nonprofit networks and collaborations
are providing these benefits and more to organizations just like yours all over the country.