“Collaboration” is a word that has been bandied about a lot in the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors in recent years, with calls for nonprofit collaboration escalating after the recession hit in 2008. With the recent announcement of the merger of Florida’s two largest philanthropy associations, Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN) and Donors Forum of South Florida (DFSF), Florida grantmakers offer a real-life example of the benefits that can be gained by collaborative restructuring in our sector. I know I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to walk the talk on collaboration.
I was part of a four-member team assigned by FPN’s board of directors to lead the merger effort for our organization, working closely with a similar team assigned by the DFSF board of directors. Right from the start I was struck by the constructive tone of the discussions. Everyone approached the process in the spirit of doing what was best for Florida’s philanthropy sector – not what was best for any of us personally or for our individual organizations. I think that was a critical factor in reaching a successful outcome. Continue reading