By Janel Shoun on 9/7/2011
More than 150 of Middle Tennessee’s nonprofit leaders embarked upon an innovative initiative today to bring more services to more people through creative collaboration with each other.
|Peter J. Bird and Joanne Pulles
|Lewis Lavine and Kristen Keely-Dinger
|(l to r) Lisa Reed, Linda Schacht, Tracy Eilers
Representatives from organizations as diverse as Nashville Public Television to CASA, from Habitat for Humanity to the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, among many others, attended Collaboration 101: Principles of Collaboration, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Lipscomb University. The daylong conference was the first step in Collaboration College, a yearlong program to nurture valuable collaborations among nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. Collaboration College will culminate in September 2012 with one organization receiving a $25,000 award from the HCA Foundation to fund its proposed collaborative project.
“I think it is an incredible indication of both the economic challenges and the opportunities facing our nonprofits today that we have more than 100 organizations registered for Collaboration 101,” said Joanne Pulles, president of the HCA Foundation, which has contributed more than $131 million in grants to more than 200 organizations and agencies in Middle Tennessee since 1998.
“Those who develop nonprofit best practices around the country are talking more and more about the need to develop networks and shared services, much like the private sector has done. At the HCA Foundation we believe that the issues facing our community today will require more than one organization coming together to help to solve it. We believe collaboration is one step in that process.”
Sponsors of Collaboration College and Collaboration 101 are Lipscomb University’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society (ILJS), the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL) and Serving and Learning Together (SALT) Program with the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) and The HCA Foundation.
Attendees to Collaboration 101 participated in a variety of classes, panel discussions and working sessions, including a discussion with two leaders from the Adoption Coalition of Texas, an organization that won the Lodestar Foundation’s 2011 Collaboration Prize, a national prize of $250,000 divided up among eight finalists. At a luncheon panel, attendees heard Tracy Eilers, foster care director at Cenpatico and founding executive director and current board member of Adoption Coalition of Texas, and Lisa Reed, program director for Adoption Coalition of Texas speak on the collaboration process and attributes that garnered them the national prize.
Collaboration 101 attendees are also eligible to continue in the ongoing Collaboration College program, modeled on the Collaboration Prize program and designed to guide nonprofit organizations through the competitive process. In February 2012, 10 Collaboration College participants will be selected to receive up to $2,400 in consulting services as they finalize their proposed collaborative projects, and in September 2012, one participant will be selected to receive an additional $25,000 in financial aid from the HCA Foundation to carry out their project.
“We have long proposed that partnerships among nonprofit agencies are valuable to the agencies and to those they serve, but they are most valuable when carried out with thoughtful planning and efficient use of resources,” said Lewis Lavine, president of CNM. “It is inspiring to see so many organizations interested in learning about the possibilities, and I expect the Collaboration College program to nurture some exciting ideas among many of the attending organizations.”
Examples of past successful nonprofit collaborations in Nashville include the Youth Opportunity Center, the Magdalene House, the Campus for Human Development and a group of youth education agencies which came together to create the “Shared Principles for Positive Youth Development” for Mayor Karl Dean.
Collaboration College was born out of a joint ILJS and CNM 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
After a couple of years of tough economic times, the 2011 event has garnered more attention and interest in the nonprofit community, said Charla Long, director of the ILJS at Lipscomb.
“Nonprofit leaders are always interested in new opportunities to serve society, but the past few years has brought such opportunities to the front burner,” Long said. “As Lipscomb University has been actively engaged in partnering with nonprofits to increase their capacity to serve, it’s natural to partner with other organizations with a similar mission on the Collaboration College.”
About the HCA Foundation
The HCA Foundation provides leadership, service and financial support to nonprofit organizations. Above all else, HCA is committed to the care and improvement of human life. Caring for patients is only part of what HCA does. The company is also dedicated to building stronger, healthier communities through outreach and philanthropy by working in partnership with our employees to serve effective nonprofit organizations.
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
Lipscomb University delivers a complete liberal arts education characterized by an integration of Christian faith and practice with academic excellence, preparing each student through an innovative curriculum and graduation requirements challenging students academically, spiritually and in their role as global community citizens.
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 engages emerging and current leaders in community and academic programs to promote private, public and non-profit collaboration for the common good. The Lipscomb Serving and Learning Together (SALT) Program applies nationally honored service-learning principles to the university’s academic programs and community building.