Giving Compass' Take:

• GrantCraft explores the upsides of advocacy collaboratives — a group of colleagues, field leaders, and other experts that unite around a common cause — and how it can lead to greater impact in the sector.

• Generally, there is strength in numbers, and knowledge sharing can go a long way. How can we generate more awareness around these collaboratives?

• Here's how community collaboratives are profiles in persistence and progress.

Funders agree that one of the most valuable aspects of being part of advocacy collaboratives is that they’re better able to “see the bigger picture” and where their perspective or theory of change might fit within a more comprehensive advocacy strategy.

Accessing knowledge from all kinds of experts, especially groups working on the front lines. It’s not unusual for funders to come into an advocacy collaborative knowing little about an issue. But they soon get the chance to learn directly from people with deep expertisec—ctheir colleagues, field leaders, and other experts. That’s knowledge “a lot of funders probably wouldn’t be able to access on their own and that leads to smarter grantmaking.”

Making investments and connections beyond what would be possible through their own foundations. Advocacy collaboratives often give grantmakers a way to make investments they may be unable to make as individual program officers, due to mission, urgency, defined program areas and investment strategies, governance, or other structures.

Leveraging and bringing to scale their foundations’ investments. Many grantmakers join advocacy collaboratives because their institutions can be more effective and have more impact collectively than individually.

Improving grantmaking practice that builds the capacity of foundations and their leaders themselves. Advocacy funders say collaboratives improve their grantmaking in powerful ways. They help program officers strategically map what’s going on in the field, identify gaps, and think more deeply about how their institutional funding can best fill those needs.

Being part of an advocacy collaborative also opens funders’ eyes to other options and opportunities. “If I were doing this grantmaking on my own, I’d miss important pieces about my issue. For example, I knew a lot about immigration, but I’d never thought about how it intersects the LGBTQ community or the law enforcement aspects of this issue.

Read the full article about being part of an advocacy collaborative by Cynthia Gibson at GrantCraft.