CNM, HCA Foundation partner with Lipscomb to create nonprofit collaboration program
By Janel Shoun on 5/24/2011
Lipscomb University and the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) announce the establishment of Collaboration College, an innovative initiative designed to encourage collaborations among nonprofits in Middle Tennessee, made possible through funding by the HCA Foundation,
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 nonprofit organizations not only to survive, but to thrive.
The Youth Opportunity Center downtown, an administrative shared space among the Oasis Center and several other youth service agencies, and the Nashville Youth Coalition, a group of youth education agencies which came together to create the “Shared Principles for Positive Youth Development” for Mayor Karl Dean, are just two examples of successful nonprofit collaborations in Nashville in the past few years.
Three of Lipscomb University’s premier community-building entities and CNM have teamed up to offer Collaboration College in an effort to change how 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.
“Since the nation’s economic challenges increased in 2008, we have seen more interest in potential collaboration among nonprofits, but it remains a difficult process,” said Lewis Lavine, president of CNM. “This college will enable nonprofits to learn to be more productive by working together.”
Lipscomb’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society (ILJS), Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL) and Serving and Learning Together Program (SALT) together with CNM will offer Collaboration College beginning with the “Collaboration 101: Principles of Collaboration,” a daylong event on the Lipscomb campus on Sept. 7.
The September event, open to any interested nonprofit agency, will explore the rewards and challenges facing successful collaborations with a nationally recognized speaker and a variety of classes, 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 one team receiving grant funding for their proposed collaborative project. Agencies are welcome to proceed within the college as far as they want to go.
In February 2012, 10 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 collaboration will be announced in September 2012.
Collaboration College was born out of an ILJS event in January 2009 – Collaborate for a Cause – and CNM’s previous efforts to encourage nonprofits to consider collaboration as a means to expand their reach in the community.
“In the past few years, Lipscomb University has been involved in a number of exciting community developments, from health care improvements for low-income neighborhoods to innovative school reform projects to citywide greening efforts,” said Charla Long, executive director of ILJS. “As a university we have practiced collaboration on a number of levels. We are excited that the HCA Foundation and CNM are helping us bring this experience to interested nonprofit leaders who are making a difference in our city every day.”
Nonprofit agencies interested in the program can log onto collaborationcollege.com or contact the ILJS at 615.966.2503 for more information or to register.
Center for Nonprofit Management
CNM, established in 1986 by the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and The Frist Foundation, provides training, consulting, research, evaluation and recognition to more than 650 nonprofit agencies. It provides these services with a staff of seven employees, 20 consultants, 50 specialized instructors and an annual budget of $1.6 million. For more information on the center visit www.cnm.org.
About Lipscomb University's Collaboration Partners
Lipscomb’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society is an undergraduate degree-granting resource in the area of social justice. The university’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership is a resource dedicated to building strong civic leaders working together for the common good and will begin offering a master’s degree in civic leadership in fall 2011. The Lipscomb Serving and Learning Together (SALT) Program applies nationally honored service-learning principles to the university’s academic programs and community building.