Giving Compass' Take:

• New Profit and Deloitte share their experience supporting nonprofit and social impact organizations, and the lessons they have learned along the way. 

• What are the best ways for social impact organizations to collaborate and create sustainable partnerships? 

• Read more about New Profit and what the future of social innovation looks like. 

In 1999, social entrepreneur Vanessa Kirsch approached the Monitor Group consulting firm with an idea. What if the consultancy would agree to collaborate with her nonprofit venture philanthropy fund, New Profit, to help other social entrepreneurs do more and better work? Kirsch proposed a simple recipe:

New Profit would provide high-potential organizations with unrestricted growth capital to make a substantive, positive difference in the world; Monitor would round out the equation, providing intellectual capital via pro bono consulting support.

ast-forward 15 years, and the two organizations are still collaborating (Monitor Group is now part of Deloitte Consulting LLP). Together, the partnership has supported more than 40 nonprofits and other social impact organizations in the areas of early childhood learning, college and career readiness, and public health—including Teach for America, KIPP, and Health Leads.

In the course of their work, New Profit and Deloitte have learned a lot about helping nonprofits expand and succeed. But they’ve also learned several important lessons (some the hard way) about what it takes to sustain a collaborative, cross-sector effort, and expand its impact over time.

Principles for the Long Term:

  • Design ... and redesign.
  • Strive to engage the entire organization.
  • Face tough issues head-on.

We believe that cross-sector collaborations hold the key to providing lasting solutions to many global social needs. We see a bright future for our continued relationship—and we hope that these principles can help speed others along on the path to collaborative success.

Read the full article about cross-sector collaborations by Dana O'Donovan & Shruti Sehra at Stanford Social Innovation Review