November 2019
August 2020
Bryan Orander, President, Charitable Advisors
Would your organization be stronger with a partner?
As an African proverb puts it, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This wise adage paints a picture of strength and resilience in partnership with others. In these uncertain times, many nonprofits should consider the possibility of joining forces with other organizations.

I am old enough to recall the first time I heard of a friend meeting his new girlfriend online (now his wife of about 20 years). At the time, dating websites were becoming increasingly common. However, there was widespread reluctance about publicly acknowledging a new method of meeting people beyond randomly crossing paths at work, weddings, bars, gym, church and other places. While many of us could admit that online dating was logical, there was something about the technology that made it appear less romantic. 

Perhaps your nonprofit is open to exploring a partnership, but there isn’t a potential partner on your radar. You can begin the process by recognizing that you can be the initiator. It’s not necessary to wait for a random offer. If you believe collaboration can be beneficial, start outlining the attributes of a good partner for your organization. Next, identify organizations that seem to match many of those criteria, and reach out.

Realistically, most of the organizations you approach will say this is not the right time. You may be surprised by how many will barely acknowledge your suggestion, maybe even entirely ignoring it. Such is our preference for independence and autonomy in running our nonprofit organizations. 

Interestingly, partnership possibilities often present themselves at awkward times — an organization is about to hire a new ED/CEO, is in the midst of a capital campaign or is about to launch a new direction that will require everyone’s complete attention. 

Each year, the Charitable Advisors team works with one to two clients on what we call “strategic partnering.” In one case, the team behind a fast-growing program realized it needed to be part of a larger nonprofit organization to truly reach its potential. We were able to identify three organizations that were interested in discussing partnership possibilities. Our client merged with one of the three organizations.

In another situation, a nonprofit had experienced a series of setbacks, including going through multiple executive directors within a short period of time. As a result, the nonprofit was beginning to lose credibility within the community. Though they still had financial resources, board members took the heroic step of looking at what was best for the community. They decided to join forces with a former competitor and archrival that was better positioned to make an impact.

If a strategic partnership is on your radar, read this invaluable guide from LaPiana Consulting on how to start this process. 

Our team at Charitable Allies would love to support you in your partnership journey. To learn more, please contact Bryan Orander by email or 317-752-7153.

Bryan Orander, President                    
Nonprofit Pandemic Resource Page - Every nonprofit leader is dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. Charitable Advisors is continually reviewing available information, adding it to our resource page and sharing it in the Not-for-profit News.
Resource of the Month
CICF Not-for-Profit Toolkit

These are tough times for not-for-profits and the team at the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) has been working hard to support organizations across our community. CICF and Charitable Advisors partnered in May to bring together, in one place, some of the best resources and tools we could find on both COVID-19 response and not-for-profit operations.

You can find it on their website under the Not-for-Profit tab and at this link.

We want to recognize board leaders
For most board members, board leadership roles come with a commitment and investment of time and resources to support a cause they care about. However, for the individual who steps up to serve as board president or chair, the role comes with the assumption of overall responsibility for the nonprofit and guiding the organization’s path forward.  

As we continue to share news of board leaders who have taken the helm, we encourage you to recognize and thank these individual for tackling the role, because as a community member you recognize the value of his or her investment to help keep the sector strong.  

If you want to announce your organization’s new board leader, please send name, position and a head shot HERE.

We are open to other ways we can support and recognize board leaders. Send us your thoughts or tell us a story about a board leader who has made a difference in your organization. Share your ideas with Bryan Orander, president.
L.G. Edwards

Retired President, Capital Bank & Trust
Rebecca Bormann

President, Women & Hi Tech
Managing Director of Sales & Services, Bell Techlogix, Inc.

New resource!

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