The Center for Association Resources

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Is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Co-Locating a Meeting with another NPO


Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

As a non-profit organization, the nature of your work makes it quite a process to find funding for your start-up (as well as your continued operation). Part of your initial goals should be to develop a plan that raises funds in the short- and long-term. There are many ways to do this, from going door-to-door and distributing literature to setting up phone banks and calling around, to name a couple. But the focus of this article is on one resource that many people overlook – other NPOs.

After all, they’ve already succeeded where you hope to, so why not benefit from their experience and maybe gain a friend while you’re at it? Other NPOs are easy enough to find. The internet is rife with databases whose sole mission is to allow easy communication and location between and by NPOs all over the United States and the world, at large. Getting in touch with one another is now the simple matter of a Google search and picking up the phone. Many organizations (especially the larger ones) have what is known as an “Open House” – usually a specialized event held once a year either at the group’s headquarters or some other location – and is a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the higher-ups of a particular group, learning the ins and outs of an NPO and knowing (personally) those who run it will give you an advantage and possibly an ally, as well. Maybe you can structure a joint open house of your own? Or have a fundraising event that seeks to benefit your NPO as well as the others in attendance? The possibilities of what you can do with other NPOs are truly limited only by your imagination, and of course by the funds you can raise to trigger such an event in the first place.

But what do you really stand to gain from meeting with other NPOs? Can they really give you anything that you wouldn’t be able to secure on your own? After all, competition exists in every facet of corporate and public enterprises in America, and in that respect NPOs aren’t much different. You might be trying to book the same groups of people as donors or even fighting over the same government grants, but like all other marketplaces, NPOs are better off when they work together. It’s already a difficult marketplace to survive in, as NPOs face several dilemmas unique to their distinctive manner of practicing business, particularly as it relates to creating capital. If you can learn what other NPOs are doing, you can either follow suit and make your time in the business world that much easier, or you can gauge where and how other NPOs are creating their capital so you know what resources are and are not available to you. Any way you look at it, you’re going to want (and likely need) other people on your side. It’s difficult to survive as a pure non-profit organization, and you’ll be lucky if you can find someone to help you out.

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Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Non-Profit, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , ,

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