You are familiar with the saying “it takes a village.” But what does it really mean and how does it apply to nonprofits? The “village” is a collective group of like-minded people that accomplishes great things when each member does their small part.
Nonprofits are formed to address needs and create solutions to improve local communities. However, nonprofits, like all businesses, don’t work in a vacuum. They often need each other to tackle a seemingly insurmountable need in their local community. In many cases, they face challenges from the system itself, which needs to evolve before they can even begin to reach a desired solution for the people they serve. Thus, building that “village” is a lot tougher than one would think.
So, who can coordinate efforts for nonprofits? Who can see the forest through the trees? Who has the capacity to work on building the village, while the local nonprofits do the work of serving the people? This is where state associations, like the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), come in. For complex issues and systems or regulations that transcend all nonprofits ““ state associations serve as a coordinator, informant, connector, and cheerleader. We share information that helps nonprofit leaders and boards of directors improve their advocacy and strategies for advancing their mission. We offer education, training, consulting, and coaching to our members. Or, we connect nonprofits to resources that offer the solutions they desire. And, most importantly, DANA serves as a voice for Delaware nonprofits. We monitor issues that could impact the ability for nonprofits to successfully conduct their work ““ and when they arise, we act.