Checklist: strategic collaboration

By governance expert Rodney Buse

Charities are encouraged to work towards tangible outcomes and impact. Eliminating poverty, a sustainable environment and the highest quality of life for people with disabilities are a few examples. But these can't be achieved without strategic collaboration. No charity is big enough to influence the policy agenda on its own.

There is much discussion on the cost savings to be achieved from mergers and collaboration. But good governance is also about strategic collaboration on major policy and advocacy agendas.

The big gains are achieved when we are more demanding of and engaged with sub-sectorial umbrella bodies, many of which exist to coordinate action on behalf of their members.

I would like to encourage charities to ask more of and communicate more with their umbrella bodies in the pursuit of greater impact. Umbrella bodies should be pressured to make sure their coordinating policy and advocacy agendas are effective and that they are fully accountable to their members and stakeholders.

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