Charity Co-ops?

March 11th, 2009   •   Comments Off on Charity Co-ops?   

In Ontario, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa provides a vast range of services to young people with the objective of helping youth move toward independence and self-sufficiency.

From a drop-in centre for street youth, emergency and transitional housing, and mental health services, through to long term housing and employment resources – YSB provides a continuum of services to young people in the Ottawa area to help and encourage them to become productive members of their community and attain their full personal potential.

But not all charitable organizations have the capacity – whether it be financial, physical or professional-skills related – to deliver such a broad range of services. What is often the case, is that one organization will provide emergency shelter, another will provide mental health services, and yet another will provide employment resources or job training. All are contributing vital ingredients for healthy, productive communities – and all are necessary.

But as a “client”, who is helping to guide me to the many resources and through the full range of services I need so that I might achieve my own personal potential?

Is your charitable organization working co-operatively with others in order to ensure your “clients” are aware of, and have access to, the many resources available to help them move forward in life? Are you working co-operatively with other non-charitable organizations, such as business and government? Do you see these types of “partnerships” as being appealing and valuable to funders and grantors?

Collaborative partnerships and co-operative arrangements have benefits in addition to improving client service. These types of arrangements will often allow organizations to access resources, goods and services that may otherwise be out of financial reach. Most charitable organizations cannot afford to employ a full-time web development professional – but a job-sharing arrangement between several organizations can help provide a service that is quickly becoming essential for success.

Are you embracing partnerships, co-operatives, collaborations, and innovative solutions? Are you job-sharing, cost-sharing, or co-habitating? Have you formed partnerships/buying-groups with others to provide your organization with essential professional services, such as graphic design, website creation, IT support or event planning?

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