Making Collaboration Work Between Governments and CBOs
Instead of competing with local community organizations for grant funding, cooperate with them. This publication shares some examples of successful partnerships between local governments and community-based organizations.
Collaboration: The Secret of Success
With public needs persisting in the face of reduced resources, a growing trend in grant funding is collaboration between local governments and community-based organizations (CBOs). Although many collaborative efforts are the result of grant programs that require them, local governments can often achieve much more than they could alone by supplementing and joining their resources with the resources of other area organizations to tackle issues of shared interest.
Collaborations take many forms and generate impressive results:
The city of Eureka, Humboldt County, public agencies, local nonprofits, and education and faith-based communities all worked together to build a Multiple Assistance Center in support of homeless services that focus on specialized care, transitional housing, and multi-step programs in a single location. This project took nine years to complete and cost approximately $5.4 million. With the help of the partnership, Eureka successfully led the project through site selection, acquisition, relocation, permitting, environmental design, construction, fund-raising, and political processes. The center currently houses approximately 70 people and serves over 4,000 individuals per year.
Jacksonville enlisted the assistance of Tree Hill, a nonprofit organization, to provide environmental education programming for a number of parks and preserves. The nonprofit assisted in the development of the application and is responsible for staffing, programming, and executing programs for the areas. Tree Hill also provides the supporting documentation to assist Jacksonville in the compilation of required grant reports.
When the city of Merced was looking to build a youth center, it created a redevelopment agency to provide resources and skills to build the building, but when it came time to fund the operation of the center, the city sought the assistance of the community. The Boys and Girls Club of Merced entered the partnership and signed a 10-year agreement to develop and operate the center in exchange for free rent of the facility from the city. The 18,000 square foot youth center offers programs that include academic mentoring, organized sports, visual arts, crafts, music, and dance, which are free of charge for members of the community.
Alachua County, Florida
With the desire to construct and operate a no-kill animal shelter, Alachua County’s Human Services Division, the Alachua County Human Society, and Gainesville Pet Rescue formed a partnership. By working together, the team secured a $336,500 grant for the shelter. Today, the shelter offers a range of services, including pet adoptions, micro-chipping, vaccinations, and veterinary treatment for sick or injured animals.
These are just a handful of examples of countless successful partnerships between local governments and their CBOs. Whether required by the granting agency or not, you should look to your community organizations for assistance. Because these organizations typically recognize many of the same needs and share many of the same goals for your community, there is a high likelihood that they would be willing to partner on projects. Working collaboratively is one more way to make your community stronger and a great place to live.
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