Dianna Civello Talks Collaboration

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in ComLead, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations

On Monday February 8th Dianna Civello, Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Canisius College, spoke with students in the Partnership and Not-for-Profits class about the dos and don’ts of collaboration.

Dianna started her career as a Spanish teacher before moving into development.  Her career has taken her from Nichols to Buffalo Seminary to Canisius College and she has learned an invaluable amount of information from each position. But one of the most important things she learned about working in development is that you HAVE to be passionate about the organization, its vision, and its mission. If you don’t believe in it, how can you expect others to?

When attempting to collaborate with another organization Dianna highlighted what she saw as the most important factors.  Collaboration is a complicated process and the list of influencing factors is long.  If even one or two are not checked off then the collaboration could fail.

In order for a collaboration to be successful these are some of the must-haves:

  • Mutual understanding and trust between all parties involved
  • Open and frequent communication. Always.
  • Appropriate pace of development. If a venture moves to quickly then important steps may be overlooked, if a venture moves too slow then it may never gain traction and come to fruition.
  • Adaptability and flexibility from all parties
  • Shared stakes by all parties in both the process and the outcome. If one party has more to lose then a successful collaboration is not likely.
  • Skilled Leadership

Strategic collaborations are becoming more popular and foundations are looking to give their money to organizations that are willing to work together.  Now more than ever it is important to collaborate successfully.

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