Make Change without the Empire

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Ruth McCambridge

I was just thinking about an article called, “You Don’t Need an Empire to Build Strength for Change,” by Deborah Linnell from the winter issue of Nonprofit Quarterly.

My daughter’s family and I share a membership to our local health club. Not only does it save us money but it also results in us doing things together we might otherwise do apart. For instance I get to wrestle a two-year-old (who hates getting changed under any conditions) to the ground every Saturday pre-swimming pool. This is something I surprisingly enjoy, whereas it’s gotten old for my daughter. Altogether it’s a win.

Nonprofits don’t share space, time, and services anywhere near enough to allow them to find the surprising possibilities in a given situation. But when they do the outcomes are often both quirky and exciting.

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I have attached the article “You Don’t Need an Empire to Build Strength for Change,” from the latest issue of the Nonprofit Quarterlymagazine. It discusses the multi-level relationship between four organizations working on housing and homelessness in Rhode Island and the major legislative win they engendered.

We would love to hear your experiences with any substantive evolutions of interorganizational relationships that you have forged over the past few years. Have you shared an office and found that it led to other things? Did you combine on a single program and find a marriage partner?

Let us know what is happening in your community.