Building Collaboration From the Inside Out

This publication is focused on building an organization’s collaboration muscles. It offers guidance on steps grantmakers and nonprofits can take to adopt a “collaborative mindset” (see page 4) and align values and practice so they can be better partners in collaboration. It is based on research and interviews with grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, technical assistance providers and thought leaders from 2013 through 2015.

The first chapter of this publication describes ways grantmakers condition themselves for collaboration, which requires considering what they want to accomplish through collaboration and how current values, culture and organizational priorities align with that vision. The second chapter focuses on key changes grantmakers may need to make inside their organizations in order to be effective collaborators. These changes may include shifting processes or priorities, developing new skills, and reallocating resources. In addition to these two primary chapters, this publication spotlights the stories of grantmakers that have made intentional shifts to create a more enabling environment for collaboration.