Do you know of any non profits in the community who are collaborating on intiatives?

Submitted by William on Tue, 06/13/2006 - 19:09.

'Non profits are not working together', is a statement I hear almost on a daily basis.  I actually don't agree with this statement.  I think this problem has been changing in the last 5 years in NEO.  There are many non-profits who have come together (without force from funders to collaborate).  I think the non-profit community has done a bad job in highlighting these collaborations to the community at large.


Do you know of any great stories of non-profits collaborating (without force from funders) that have happened in your neighboorhood?  Please share your story. 


I actually think there is enough collaboration going on to do a study on NEO collaborations and taking best practices from this collaboration to help the entire non-profit community of NEO.  Hmmm that is a concept.... studying what we are doing vs. studying what we are not doing.



Non-profits collaborating - more needed - join GCLAC

In my world, I see scores of non-profits and government health organizations collaborating on lead eradication, and  East Cleveland 2010 is a very non-traditional collaboration, and there is high level collaboration among arts organizations, and in education... and those are not just non-profit collaborations but include government, professionals, corprations and individual activists. But, even with a core health based social change effort like eradicating lead poisoning, major non-profits threaten to "eat the other for lunch" and take funding from each other, and that happens all the time. What I see succeeding is unexpected, and has nothing to do with organizations that come and go - when people connect all that disappears. Bottom line, it all comes down to individuals and one-on-one relationships that weave networks together, as well as form organizations, throughout lifetimes.

I'll put together the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council membership list and post that to REALNEO to show a huge, non-tradional collaboration changing the future of the region at the most fundamental level, with very little conflict - and all other good individuals and organizations are welcome to join. I believe this is successful because we have a very specific mission - eradicating lead poisoning by 2010 - and 10,000s of children's lives are being saved in that time, so our challenge is bigger than any person or organization and failure is unaccaptable. That said, we need more collaboration on this so get in touch - norm [at] realinks [dot] us

Steamship Mather Museum Collaborating ...

I used to work at the Steamship William G. Mather Museum several years ago. They were very open to collaborating with other non-profits. And there were some interesting collaborations going on. I am not sure what they are doing now since they have moved to their new berth, but I assume things have only gotten better. Former Mayor Jane Campell gave them a long term lease a few years ago -- something they had always been denied under Mike White -- and with a long term lease they have a much better chance of getting local funding. Some of the factors in their collaborations: -- they were rich in assetts (a 1925 ore boat) vs. cash and had a dedicated group of volunteers, but a small paid staff (less bureacracy. The Mather was one of the most collaborative organizations I know of.



Thanks Norm,




I look forward to seeing the list.  If you ever have information on lead issue that you would like for me to share with CAAO, please let me know.  I have an email list of people who receive information related to health issues.




CAAO currently has 10 collaborative partnerships.   All these partnerships are geared toward providing our membership with access to information and opportunities.  One collaboration I am really proud of is the CAAO Minority Access to Capital Roundtable (ATC).  A year ago CAAO decided to bring all the financial institutions and small business development organizations together to develop a program around teaching minority business all the funding opportunities available and to facilitate the relationship building between entrepreneurs and those with direct access to funding.  This organization not only provided funding, but they got together with CAAO once a month to plan the program.  The organizations involved included: KeyBank, Fifth Third Bank, Dollar Bank, National City Bank, US Bank, Merrill Lynch, WECO, SBA, Huntington National Bank, First Merit Bank, Charter One Bank, Shore Bank Enterprise  (non profit), JumpStart, and the City of Cleveland Empowerment Zone.   In April, May and June of 2005 the ATC put on 5 workshops focusing on the mission of the group.  As of today, almost $500,000 in funding opportunities has been generated directly from the relationships developed in these workshops.  One entrepreneur who attended actually got a contract with one of the guest speakers.




In 2006 the ATC has added the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Corporate College, Sky Bank, and ShoreBank (for profit) to the planning committee.  This year’s program will take place in October and have a focus geared toward established businesses (5years and up).  I will keep you informed.


Ways for you to help NEO with lead eradication

I know CAAO is collaborative - I understand you to be entirely based on collaboration of organizations, foundations, businesses and individuals... more power to you - always proud to be your friend!. I'm gald you asked how you/CAAO may collaborate on lead eradication, and I can propose many ways for CAAO the organization and your members to play a role.

  • I'm on the Steering Committee of the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) and co-chair of their Infrastructure and Sustainability SubCommittee, and that has five subcommittees all looking for active participants - for Infrastructure and Sustainability , Environment and Property, Public Health, Workforce Development and Outreach and Advocacy. You'll be joining in on a two year old, multi-year more, St. Lukes and other fundation funded public health and economic development revolution that saves lives... anyone may join and I'll be glad to help you decide how best fits your competencies.
  • I'm also on the subcommittee planning logistics for a Lead Awareness Rally from Public Square to City Hall on July 19th, and I'm leading outreach into the "business" world to find "sponsors" who would provide water, fruit and other snacks, and other nice things to include in gift bags for children attending the rally - minimum quantities of 500... all as healthy as possible.
  • We also want to spread the word to drive a big turnout, especially of children, their parents and grandparents and those likely to be parents, who are the highest risk target group... and this is not a poverty issue but a public health, education and economic development issue so all interested in that should come to the rally and get more informed... I'll be posting all about this and emailing everyone I know so if you know me or read REALNEO you'll know all about the rally.
  • I'm on the Board of Directors of Concerned Communities Organized Against Lead (CCOAL - a coalition of lead poisoned families) and I am helping with further board development - a wonderful group of people working at the heart. Board involvement requires a significant time commitment including attending education programming on lead (four sessions), spending many hours a month in meetings, and getting involved with activism in other board rooms, with foundations, and in the streets. Please contact me if you are interested to serve on the board or attend meetings.
  • We've formed a CCOAL subcommittee for eradicating lead poisoning in East Cleveland. This is made up of lead poisoned East Cleveland families, other lead poisoned families, and a big collaboration of other change agents who will go to every street and home in East Cleveland and document apparent lead risks and inform citizens about the risks and remediation support. We are combining this effort with a major open source GIS/mapping supercomputing thinktank we're forming (through a very non-traditional grass roots information technology genius collaboration). We need volunteers for the mapping and all other outreach in East Cleveland.
  • I would love to bring some experts to CAAO or before a group CAAO forms to educate attendees on lead and what they may do to eradicate it from their lives and the community, which will protect attendees and allow them to go out in the commity to educate their friends and families - in just a few minutes, anyone can help save a life by spreading facts. Would CAAO (or any other group reading this) like to put together a group of friends, neighbors or members who want to become educated on lead and so help educate the community around them?
  • If anyone reading this is in a position to fund or sponsor any aspect of this - even providing water or apples for the kids at the rally, or printing fliers - please get in touch with norm [at] realinks [dot] us asap. Thanks for caring.

Micro Entrprise Network is a collaboration


This is an interesting collaboration that I have been lucky to be part of the last 4 years.  The network comprises of small business development organizations who come togather to share thoughts and information.  Some of the organizations include the SBA, Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition, Urban League SBDC, Alex Community Development Corporation, Tri-C Business Department, WECO, SCORE, and COSE. 


A joint calendar of events is one of the projects this group has put together.  Participating organizations get the opportunity to put their events targeting business owners on one calendar, that is sent out to all members of the group.   This helps us to prevent clashing with each other’s events and also to assist in helping spread to the word about events other organizations are having.

This group has come togather a few times to put on a joint Micro Enterprise Fair with the help of COSE.