Grant Tips: Communicating Your Collaborations

Grant Tips: Communicating Your Collaborations

July 27, 2015

Collaborations, alliances and other types of organizational relationships—formal or informal—are often key drivers of successful outcomes for many projects. If your nonprofit is working with other organizations, local businesses, government agencies or community stakeholders to reach its goals, this is important information to include in your grant proposals. 

A good discussion of your collaborations will capture all the direct and indirect benefits of your partnerships. Impress the funder with how carefully you have selected and nurtured your collaborators and identified all the not-so-obvious benefits of those relationships. Are you referring your clients to supportive services beyond your program scope? Are you engaged in joint programming with other similar or complementary agencies? For example, if your summer day camp is bringing in a local dental clinic to do free checkups, you’ll want to let funders know how this partnership is helping kids who may not otherwise have access to adequate dental care.

When you describe your network of alliances, include all the relevant collaborators you may already have, or hope to have, that serve to strengthen your program. Be sure to consider any and all with whom you may be exchanging information, sharing resources or otherwise providing mutual support. And remember, some of the best collaborations are long-term relationships that live beyond the scope of one project.

You can search for real-world examples of how other nonprofits are working together at Foundation Center’s free Nonprofit Collaboration Database. 

Luz M. Rodriguez is a training specialist and Katie Casey is director of capacity and leadership development at the Foundation Center. The Foundation Center seeks to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world. For more information visit

Luz M. Rodriguez & Katie Casey