By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services and Conferences
Collaboration is an essential part of service. For Sertoma, this begins with teamwork amongst the members. However, it often stretches far beyond the confines of a single club to include other area Sertoma clubs and/or other nonprofits that share a common goal. These relationships typically form for one of four reasons:
- Efficiency: Clubs often operate on limited resources, but partnering with other organizations can help share the costs of projects, fundraisers, sponsorships, events and more. It also increases the available volunteer pool and lessens the burden on organizations with limited membership.
- Effectiveness: There is power in numbers, and working with other reputable nonprofits in your area is a great way to leverage collective influence. When organizations work together, they are almost always able to better advance their common missions and goals.
- Creativity: Working with other clubs and charitable organizations gives your club the opportunity to truly pursue change through creative solutions. The more people at the table, the more ideas you will have to help solve the problem or achieve the goal at hand.
- Branding: Partnering with other nonprofits should boost your name recognition. If done correctly, you may be able to at least double your exposure by capitalizing on their audience. If you happen to be working with a more-known organization, the benefit will likely be even greater. Any opportunity to expose others to your club and its Service to Mankind should be considered.
Sertoma clubs in Southwest Missouri are a perfect example of what can happen when you work together. Clubs from the Springfield, Mo., area work together to support the Boys and Girls Clubs in their communities, donating over $300,000 annually to at-risk youth causes. One of their flagship fundraisers, the Sertoma Chili Cook-Off , celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year.
Similarly, clubs in the Topeka, Kan., area have their wildly successful Topeka Duck Race, which goes to benefit the Boys and Girls Club and other various causes. These three clubs have taken their partnership to the next level by allowing other nonprofits to turn duck sales into a fundraising opportunity. Participating fundraisers receive 50% of raised funds for their preferred not-for-profit organization.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking to work with other organizations. For instance, the Lima Noon Sertoma Club partnered with Kiwanis clubs in its area to host their state representative in a joint session early this summer.