Lawrence Brose on Not-for-Profit Collaboration

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in ComLead, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations, Organizational Leadership

On Monday April 25th, world-renowned artist, film maker and former Executive Director of CEPA, Lawrence Brose, spoke to Communication and Leadership students about collaboration in the not-for-profit world.6a00d8345161a069e20133f2779526970b-320wi

During Lawrence’s time as Executive Director of CEPA, the organization entered into a collaboration with Big Orbit Gallery and Just Buffalo Literacy Center. While the collaboration between CEPA and Big Orbit was more of an informal transition, the collaboration with Just Buffalo Literacy Center was one that formed from purposeful recognition of a true opportunity. Both Lawrence and the Executive Director of Just Buffalo, Laurie Dean Torrell, saw the benefits that would come with working together and realized doing so could help each organization tremendously.

All three organizations operate out of the same building which was just one of the many benefits. They were able to share resources such as staff, technology, and supplies allowing them all to save money that could be put toward growing their organizations. They were also able to collaborate on successful projects such as the Picturing Poetry program and learn from each other’s strengths.

There were difficulties as well such as learning how to manage shared employees. When the culture of each organization is different it can require some flexibility when sharing resources. Difficulties are sure to arise but it is how the organizations work with each other to handle those situations that determines their success.

Lawrence learned that when entering a collaboration it is important for all parties involved to work together to determine what they want the collaboration to be. All the parties involved must also see the value in the collaboration. It is not something that can be forced, especially from a funder and most importantly, trust is paramount. Without it the collaboration will never work.

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