The Power of Possibility | Starting Points for Nonprofit Partnerships

Starting Points

It’s never a bad time to consider the possibility of strategic alliances and restructuring, but some moments create more natural opportunities to do so than others.

Intentional strategy planning, significant shifts in your internal or external operating environment, leadership transitions, or other major inflection points are moments when boards are wise to reflect on the opportunity of strategic alliances and restructuring, and the powerful possibilities it might create.

This is why we’ve developed focused resources to help guide board discussion during these important moments within an organization. They are designed to help you reflect on where your organization is, where it’s headed, and how a strategic alliance or restructuring could help you get there.

Strategy & Planning

Strategy and planning is about determining what’s most important for your organization to do and then figuring out how best to get those things done. This is why strategic thinking and planning can serve as a powerful moment to identify opportunities to strategically align or restructure with another organization.

Adapting to Change

Adapting to change is constant, and some instances require board-level thinking about how your organization may need to adjust or change to best serve your core purpose. Oftentimes, that means considering how a strategic alliance or restructuring could support or even expand your ability to have a positive impact.

Executive Transitions

When an executive transition is on the horizon, executives and boards often find it easier to openly consider the possibilities of a strategic alliance or restructuring. It’s a powerful opportunity to imagine what might be possible without the same level of sensitivity about what a strategic alliance or restructuring might mean for future organizational leadership. Boards that are facing an executive transition are wise to have a conversation prior to launching a search about what a strategic alliance or restructuring could offer their organization.

Innovation & Scale

Organizations undergoing a period of innovation and expansion are by definition already considering the power of possibility: the possibility of creating new solutions or approaches or ramping up reach and impact. Boards and leaders are smart to consider whether a strategic partnership with another organization could support those efforts and unlock even greater potential for impact.

Closing the Doors

Closing down an organization or program is not an easy decision for nonprofit leaders to make. It typically requires tough decisions about services, personnel, and most importantly the communities and people served. If your organization is facing such a decision, thoughtful consideration of strategic alliances and restructuring options may enable your organization’s legacy, as well as its core purpose and mission, to live on, even as you close down.

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Starting a Nonprofit

Starting a nonprofit is a major endeavor, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before you assume that a new organization is the best way to get a great idea or program off the ground, consider how you could partner with an existing organization. In addition to enabling you to build on the existing resources, capacity, and expertise of that organization, it will ensure that you’re following your passion in a way that strengthens rather than competes with organizations that are already doing similarly important work.