Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy: Strengthening Nonprofits through Effective Cross-Center Collaborations

Publication date: 
February, 2014
Urban Institute

New York City, like most cities, counts on government, business, and nonprofit organizations to work together to create supportive, safe, and productive environments. In particular, local government and nonprofit agencies often address many of the same social issues, serve the same clients, and, therefore, have reason to support each other in the process. Moreover, both government and nonprofit agencies have valuable resources they can offer each other to enhance service delivery. Local governments, for instance, have financial resources they can allocate to address social problems and community needs.

Nonprofit agencies have unique insight and expertise working with specific populations; they can mobilize volunteers and have greater flexibility to act faster and with greater reach through their networks than government agencies. Although building and sustaining effective partnerships can be mutually beneficial, it is seldom easy to achieve. Research documents the complexities of investing time and resources into making connections, building trust among partners, making tough decisions about the allocation of funds, and strengthening the organizational infrastructure and capacity of nonprofit organizations....