Across the United States, community reliance on nonprofits has surged. According to research by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 86% of nonprofits have reported an increase in demand for their services — yet more than half said they are unable to meet the demand.
This trend holds true in Central Texas, where there’s an opportunity to foster sustained collaboration among nonprofits to improve their effectiveness. Though organizations are eager to advance strategic partnerships, they often lack the coordination and resources needed to do so.
Through Austin Together, nonprofits can build connections and gain access to a wealth of tools, consultants, and a guide with content expertise to sustain those partnerships.
At Austin Together, we believe sustained collaborations strengthen nonprofits to create better outcomes for the people of Central Texas.Rich Smalling, Interim Executive Director, Austin Together
How it Helps
More than 150,000 people live on low incomes in Central Texas, and the issues affecting the community are complex. By joining forces, local nonprofits are better equipped to meet residents’ needs.
Austin Together helps forge transformational partnerships and empowers organizations to develop creative solutions, share expertise, and scale their services. The fund is working to accelerate positive outcomes and enable partnered nonprofits to accomplish more than they could achieve alone. Austin Together’s goal is to support the right partnerships through a thoughtful and supported process.Austin Together supports organizations across healthcare, child welfare, education, and workforce in the following ways:
- Providing encouragement and thought partnership through content-specific guides to help leaders build strategic alliances with other organizations.
- Offering access to tools, research, and best practices for sustained collaboration through its membership in the Sustained Collaboration Network, which brings together seven similar efforts across the U.S.
- Funding grants to cover the cost of exploring, designing and implementing sustained collaborations.
- Matching grant seekers with consultants and professional service providers that work pro-bono or for a reduced rate.
Not only does the fund bring together nonprofit partners, it also engages members of the for-profit sector. As a result, nonprofits have greater access to resources, businesses can engage in more servant-leadership, and all types of organizations can better meet the evolving needs of people across Central Texas.
In the first two years of the program, Austin Together made 27 grants to 40 organizations totaling almost $500,000. Additionally, three collaborations have resulted in mergers that strengthened the partners involved and expanded their impact on our community.