When Do Donor Collaborations Make Sense?
The Financial Times reports (12/10/2007) that some donors are pursuing greater impact through collaboratives that enable them to share knowledge and experience and funds.
Over lunch this week with a staffer at a major, national foundation, we bemoaned the fact that so few foundations work together. My experience as a funder in Chicago was that our hypocritical failure to collaborate (since we forced our grantees to do so) was anchored in pure ego. Boards and executive leaders too often wanted credit for social advances -- credit that might be diluted by partnership.
Obviously, solid partnerships rooted in shared interest are hard to develop and harder to maintain. But this article from the Financial Times offers the flip side of the equation: collaboration for its own sake, rarely if ever makes sense.