Collaboration – everyone’s talking about it, but does working together really help non-profit agencies operate more effectively and efficiently; and, even more importantly, does it lead to better services for clients? The Wellesley Institute, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary of advancing urban health, is pleased to announce the release of the latest report in its collaboration series – Collaboration in the Third Sector: From Co-opetition to Impact Driven Cooperation
“While non-profit, voluntary and charitable groups are often neglected or taken for granted, the non-profit sector comprises hundreds of thousands of organizations of various sizes,” notes Rick Blickstead, CEO of the Wellesley Institute. “In dollar terms, it contributes a larger share to the overall economy than automobile manufacturing, but the health of the third sector is rarely given serious public or policy attention. The third sector generates $81 billion annually – which represents 7.1% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. The third sector is a major employer – with labour compensation of almost $70 billion annually. That compares to about $60 billion for the retail trade, and less than $15 billion for motor vehicle manufacturing.”
“While the economic impact of the third sector is enormous, the social impact is even greater,” reports Michael Shapcott, Director of Community Engagement at the Wellesley Institute. “Non-profit organizations deliver some of the most vital services in our communities and our country. By far the biggest segment of the third sector delivers essential health services, followed by a range of social services, housing, culture and recreation. Third sector groups helps us to stay healthy and deliver critical health services when we are ill; provide good quality homes for about one-in-twenty Canadians; and nurture our bodies, our souls and our minds. They entertain, amuse and educate us and our children.”
The collaboration series identifies promising practices for collaboration and partnership building in the non-profit sector, the collaboraton series reports are:
- Collaboration in the Third Sector establishes a vision for a new collaboration framework, with recommendations and actions for the non-profit sector, funders and non-profit agencies.
- From Many Voices explores the experiences, opportunities and challenges in a multi-stakeholder process, and identifies the conditions for success in collaborative projects involving the non-profit, public and private sectors.
- Deliberate Relationships scans relationships between government and the third sector (non-profit / voluntary).
- We Can’t Afford to Do Business This Way addresses the need to change the funding and accountability model so that NFP executives could spend more time leading than administering.