The database on non-profit collaboration provides numerous examples of collaboration and how they can benefit a charity. As well, it can be searched by a number of criteria.

Here are some of the search criteria:

Ways to Collaborate
Purchase goods and /or services together
Share (co-locate) or better utilize space
Combine marketing efforts
Share development (fundraising) activities
Form a new organization to deliver a program or provide administrative services
Share developing, offering and / or delivering projects, programs, and / or services
Share advocacy efforts
Form a confederation
Franchise or license
Merge – resulting in one integrated organization
Merge – resulting in an affiliate and / or subsidiary relationship
Share staffing
Share staff training

Type of collaboration
Administrative Consolidation  
Through a contract or agreement
Creation of a new organization
Joint Programming   Involving or building on existing programs / services
Creation of a new program or service
Creation of a new organization
Merger   Fully integrated, including those with some brand independence retained
Merged governance, management, programs and operation with separate corporate structures


Goals Sought Through Collaboration

Address unmet and/or escalating community need
Expand reach and/or range of services / programs
Improve the quality of services / programs
Develop a stronger / more effective “voice”
Improve programmatic outcomes
Serve more and/or different clients / audiences
Better attract and retain highly qualified staff
Achieve administrative efficiencies
Maximize financial resources
Reduce risk and/or reach a scale more conducive to taking on and managing risk
Leverage complementary strengths and/or assets

Circumstances Prompting Collaboration

Funding opportunity
Respond to a community need
Advance a shared goal
Potential closure of one or more of the partnering organizations
Financial problems / pressures within one or more of the partnering organizations
High / increasing costs
Difficulty funding necessary technological initiatives
Competition for funding, staff, donors and/or clientele
Constraining effect of increasingly stringent external standards / requirements
(Potential) departure of one or more Executive Directors / CEOs
Parent organization request
Funder initiated / mandated


Developing trust among partners
Conflict between or among partners
Accepting change
Achieving shared vision
Creating a shared culture
Internal and external communication
Clarifying partner roles
Coordination / integration of programs & services
Coordinating / merging / integrating operations
Reaching agreement in marketing / branding
Raising funds or integrating fund development to support the collaboration
Leading and / or managing the collaboration
Addressing lack of staff or allocation of staff resources
Retaining staff or staff departures
Costs of collaboration
Defining and measuring success
Facing competitive factors in the operating environment
Concerns about risk / risk management
Zoning / development of physical (shared) space