MAPC Workshop

Nonprofit/Nonprofit Collaboration in Boston

A Barr-sponsored report offers answers to questions about the potential, and the challenges, of nonprofit collaborations.

Can Boston’s nonprofits realize greater outcomes by working together in new structures or alignments, and, if so, what is preventing that from happening? What can foundations and support organizations do to overcome barriers, incent, catalyze, seed, provide tools and resources, or otherwise nurture the development of these new ways to work?

In 2006, Barr engaged Roy Ahn S.D., an independent consultant and senior research fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, to conduct a study on nonprofit collaboration in Boston. He found that such collaborations can be highly effective—resulting in cost savings, policy wins, and innovative thinking to address persistent problems.

However, based on interviews with nonprofit staff members and consultants to nonprofits, he also found that collaboration requires skills that often are not in the standard toolbox of nonprofit leaders or staff. And he identifies a number of concrete steps foundations can take to help diagnose and close those skill gaps.

Download the Nonprofit Collaboration in Boston report

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