Lipscomb University and the Center for Nonprofit Management announce the second convening of Collaboration College, an innovative initiative designed to encourage collaborations among a cross-sector of organizations in Middle Tennessee, made possible through funding by Baptist Healing Trust and The HCA Foundation. Strategic consulting partners for the initiative are c3 consulting, North Highland Worldwide Consulting and HCA.
Mergers or business partnerships are seen as a sign of growth and innovation in the for-profit world, but in the nonprofit realm, mergers – and even partnerships – are less frequent. However, in today’s tight economy, collaboration could be the key for many organizations — public, private and nonprofit — not only to survive, but also to thrive.
“The initial Collaboration College was a huge success in enabling teams of nonprofits to work together in new and productive ways,” said Lewis Lavine, president of CNM. “This second edition will expand the number of partnerships, and also make the entire sector aware of the benefits that accrue through collaborations.”
Lipscomb University and CNM have teamed up to offer Collaboration College in an effort to change how public, private and nonprofit leaders and supporters view and manage cooperative ventures as well as to encourage creative partnership ideas to expand the reach of community aid in Nashville. Through this program teams of leaders representing a variety of organizations throughout Middle Tennessee will collaborate to find creative ways to serve their constituents and community more effectively. The team with the best collaborative idea will receive a $25,000 award from the HCA Foundation to fund its proposed project.
Many of the challenges facing our community today require a collective understanding of the issues and collective action.
“During Collaboration College 101, we learned that for this strategy to be effective, it needs to work for each participating organization while serving the greater goals of the collaboration. We are very pleased with the level of enthusiasm and commitment during the first class of Collaboration College and the way it helped establish and strengthen relationships that will provide lasting benefits to our community,” said Joanne Pulles, president of the HCA Foundation, which has contributed more than $146 million in grants to more than 175 organizations and agencies in Middle Tennessee since 1998.
Baptist Healing Trust is also providing funding and support for the program.
“We see an increasing need for disciplined, cross-sector approaches to solving social problems on a large scale,” said Catherine Self, president and CEO of Baptist Healing Trust. “It’s always helpful to have differing perspectives to help create a complete vision and full understanding of a problem. Cross-sector perspectives can improve collective understanding of the problem and create a sense of mutual accountability. No one of us can solve our community’s problems alone. We are excited to be a part of Collaboration College 2.0.”
Lipscomb’s College for Professional Studies together with CNM will offer Collaboration College beginning with the “Collaboration 101-From Collaboration to Collective Impact: Principles, Case Studies and Best Practices,” a daylong event on the Lipscomb campus on Oct. 21.
The October event, open to any interested nonprofit agency leaders, board representatives and public or private partners, will explore the rewards and challenges facing successful collaborations with a nationally recognized speaker, a variety of panel discussions and working sessions presented by collaboration experts.
The yearlong program will continue throughout the school year as participating agencies are led through a curriculum and consultative experience, resulting in the top teams receiving grant funding for their proposed collaborative projects. Agencies are welcome to proceed within the college as far as they want to go.
In March 2015, six participating team partnerships will be selected to move forward with financial modeling, best practices, cultural assimilation and other areas critical to the success of their collaborative project. These teams will receive 24 hours of consulting services targeted specifically to the developmental needs of the project. The top collaborations will be announced in October 2015.
The program began in 2011 and gave six teams of nonprofits the direction, resources and encouragement they need to collaborate successfully. More than 150 local nonprofit business leaders participated in the inaugural Collaboration College 101 conference that launched the initiative. Six teams made up of leaders from 18 nonprofits in Middle Tennessee, participated in the yearlong program. Teams collaborated on projects related to family support, employment opportunities for homeless citizens, mental health resources, health care, domestic violence services and organizations serving youth.
Collaboration College was born out of an event in January 2009 – Collaborate for a Cause – hosted by Lipscomb’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society then-housed in the College of Professional Studies and CNM’s previous efforts to encourage nonprofits to consider collaboration as a means to expand their reach in the community.
“Lipscomb University intentionally and strategically develops programs to serve the community and to facilitate collaborations and conversations about significant issues facing our society,” said Charla Long, dean of the College of Professional Studies. “As a university we have practiced collaboration on a number of levels. We are excited that the HCA Foundation, Baptist Healing Trust, CNM and our strategic consulting partners and Lipscomb are collaborating to bring this experience to interested community leaders who are making a difference in our city every day.”
Organizations interested in the program can visit collaborationcollege.com or contact Lipscomb’s College of Professional Studies at 615.966.1100 for more information or to register.
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