No nonprofit is an island

...although you wouldn't know it by how often such outfits unknowingly or carelessly bang into one another on the way to a potential funder's portal. My work evaluating proposals to grant making foundations has revealed this repeatedly. I'm of a mind that a far more sensible tactic is to cooperate, coordinate, or collaborate, that is, to come together to work together before reaching out for resources for which competition is increasingly intense. Even though it is ironic that those that hold the resources we avidly pursue seem to have their own difficulty working together - something I discovered as a foundation program officer occasionally proposing to try some collaborative grant making - finding ways to work together really does hold out benefits for organizations looking for financial support. Here are three possibilities: 1) you won't get dinged for duplicating services, a perception about which it is hard to disagree when your outreach is fragmented; 2) you might intrigue some prospective funders because of the ability to scale up the proposed effort in a way not possible alone; and 3) you might accomplish far more to help the people at the heart of your proposed efforts to improve the quality of their lives.