Despite our active and vibrant Dallas nonprofit sector, our cherished local organizations often struggle with issues of insufficient scale, duplication of effort, undefined leadership succession, limited public and private revenue sources and high back-office costs. In the face of these challenges, nonprofits may find it difficult to focus on long-term goals, take risks on new ideas, and achieve maximum impact.
In recent years, funders in the region have supported several long-term collaborations to help Dallas area nonprofits secure and strengthen themselves. Based on this experience, and in response to requests from the nonprofit community, a handful of funders are now pooling their resources in the DCP in order to achieve greater impact.
What we believe
We believe there’s a powerful opportunity to accelerate social change by exploring creative ways to meaningfully collaborate. We are hopeful about what we could accomplish if we allow ourselves to think big about how our individual missions could be lifted by coming together for a common purpose. And we believe there is power in the possibility of going beyond organizational boundaries to do together what we may not be able to do alone.
The Dallas Collaboration Project seeks to:
1. Provide funding support for thoughtful exploration and implementation of formal long-term collaborations among nonprofits;
2. Routinize the consideration and practice of repositioning and meaningful partnership activities as an important strategic option for nonprofit leaders, boards and funders;
3. Grow a learning community on the topic by elevating and disseminating lessons learned from nonprofit collaborations to inspire further market movement; and
4. Encourage participating organizations to achieve far greater mission impact than they would have otherwise.
Areas of Focus
The DCP considers applications from organizations that serve any issue area.
It’s never a bad time to consider the possibility of collaboration, but some moments create even more natural opportunities to do so. Whether experiencing an executive transition, a major shift in resources or considering a long-term contract, these moments are rich opportunities for exploring options for achieving even greater impact. We recognize the important factor of timing around seizing these moments, which is why the DCP is open to considering applications on any issue area at any time.
The DCP exists in part for organizations to reflect and have values-driven conversations during “critical moments” which may include:
- Innovation & expansion
- Executive or board transition
- Strategy development
- Major shift in resources or program change
- Expansion to new markets or launching new capital projects
- Other significant staffing transition
- Long-term commitment or contract (lease, etc.)
- Closing the doors/winding down
- Significant budget changes