The old adage “many hands make light work” is just as valuable today as in the 1500s when this phrase was coined by English writer John Heywood. Although he did not work for a nonprofit, he understood the benefit of people joining together to meet a shared challenge and achieve a common goal.
Homelessness Simulation at the United Way of the Greater Triangle
By pooling resources for staffing, funding, development, communications, volunteers and/or database management, nonprofit and social services agencies with a similar goal and client base can have a huge collective impact. This is the model that one of our recent clients, the United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT), has been moving toward: a new strategic direction which reflects the nationwide efforts and successes of collaborative agencies meeting an area’s most pressing needs.
Recently, moss+ross associates were invited to participate in a homelessness simulation conducted by UWGT staff. “I thought I understood these issues, because we do a lot of work in this area,” said Susan Ross. “But we all learned a great deal by trying to make the right strategic decisions within the context of the simulation game.”
One excellent example of how this can work is the recently formed Durham Collaborative to End Family Homelessness. Funded partially by a grant from UWGT, the Collaborative consists of five partner agencies: Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network, Durham’s Partnership for Children, Genesis Home, Housing for New Hope, and Urban Ministries of Durham. The Collaborative is a coordinated effort with the common goal to help families and children cope with homelessness, hunger, and substance abuse by creating a seamless system of services for homeless families. moss+ross has been their consulting partner over the past few months.
We have so many wonderful nonprofit organizations in the Triangle area. We challenge you to brainstorm about additional opportunities for collaboration and how you would like to be a part of making it happen. Prioritize time to connect with other organizations that address any part of the spectrum of needs that you also impact. It may be a long road but it’s a worthy journey.