“If I traded it all
If I gave it all away for one thing
Just for one thing
If I sorted it out
If I knew all about this one thing
Wouldn’t that be something?”

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This may not be the one thing the group Finger Eleven was singing about, but Rosetta Thurman of the blog Perspectives from the Pipeline asks about a certain one thing….

What one thing should we do to improve the state of the nonprofit sector?
At the prompt of this question, numerous ideas run through my head. But, one main idea that stands out among the rest is the following concept: collaboration.
In my opinion, increased collaboration could break down many of the barriers and challenges various causes, issues and non-profits. Collaboration increases the bank of ideas, funds, resources, talent and people. I’m not just declaring a collaboration of practitioners in our sector though, but a total collaboration: with academics, think tanks, politicians, government, the education system, as well as the NGOs.
Collaboration is often a buzzword in any organization or classroom. But what about if we revitalized what true collaboration could be?
  • What if, for a cause, the executive director called a meeting of community members or held a forum for bloggers to collaborate with them on solving issues?
  • What if management and staff switched roles for a day to better understand each other’s role and position.
  • What if journalists sat and discussed issues with lobbyists as well as politicians and each other?
  • What is NGOs partnered with research institutions to see how to better address policy issues?
  • What is research institutions talked to journalists to learn to find out more about what the stories are and what begs attentions and remains unexplored?

Now, I know the question asked specifically about the non-profit sector…but what is the nonprofit sector? What is the private sector? or the public sector? Why divisions and not more communication and more collaboration? How do the three relate? I think the non-profit sector needs to infiltrate the other sectors through the tools of collaboration…and social change for the welfare of the public may be heightened.

*I will also note that this concept of collaboration is one I continue to explore and educate myself on as it is one area of my research, so I encourage comments or suggestions.

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“If (we) knew all about this one thing……wouldn’t that be something?!?”