1. Take a Weakness and Outsource it
A wise person once told me the key to their success was to always hire for the things you don’t enjoy doing as you grow. Eventually you reassign enough stuff that you thrive daily in what you love. There is a very good chance you have community partner who loves what you loathe. Find them and you will both grow together.
2. Organize a Community Conversation
Don’t wait for your local United Way or community foundation to bring people together, organize it yourself. Taking the steps to advance important conversations within the community by bringing together key stakeholders highlights your organization as a leader, an expert and an authentic listener for the causes you care about. Not only will you gain some free advice to the questions you raise, but you are likely find new partners and funders excited by your vision.
Simply co-branding, without a formal collaboration of services, is one of the easiest ways to partner together. Bringing brands together establishes credibility and can strengthen your recognition in your market. It also alerts funders who are looking to fund collective impact that you are open to collaboration. One word of caution, always research the reputation of the organization before you choose to co-brand.
4. Give Your ‘Competition’ the Floor
Invite a respected competitor to come and speak about their programs to a small group of stakeholders (board, staff or clients) of your organization, by doing this you send a message that you are both confident in your own work and open to ideas of others in your field. During their presentation, invite them to share motivation for the work they do, ideas for the future and what some of their biggest roadblocks are. The simple act of inviting competition to be the experts relaxes the environment and encourages generative ideas about collaborating in the future to make a bigger impact.
5. Talk About Your Roadblocks
Work in the nonprofit sector almost guarantees more help is needed than the time and resources you have to give to it. Instead of digging deeper to get more done in less time (a key ingredient to burn-out), keep track of the things you never get to and the roadblocks that keep you from moving forward. Then get out in the community and start talking about it. Ask for help. People naturally want to help, when you are clear what your difficulties are, you’ll be surprised that the solutions will come.