The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently published an article, A Grant Maker Requires Grantees to Collaborate, that indicates a trend of how funders are thinking. The article shares how the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has made big changes in its grant making in response to the recession. The fund now only grants to coalitions of groups that work together to solve important community problems, not individual organizations.
The grant maker sees several benefits in this new paradigm of grantmaking:
1) the collaborating groups can make sure they are not duplicating programs;
2) the groups can close the gaps in the services they offer;
3) collaboration allows each group to focus on its area of expertise
For these reasons, the grant maker believes that collaboration leads to better quality services. A spokesperson for the Tuscon community fund argues that “no one agency can meet any one person’s needs – and probably shouldn’t, when you start being everything to everybody, oftentimes you water down the quality of what you are providing.”
While this is a new idea from a grant making position the idea itself goes back much further. ICorinthians 12 reminds us that we all have a unique purpose but the real power comes when together we become the Body of Christ.