Local Library or Management Service Organization?

Many foundations believe their grantees could be more effective by partnering with other organizations—for example, sharing back office services or even merging into a single, larger nonprofit to spread costs more effectively. When nonprofit leaders seem uncertain about or scared to try these strategies, what can a foundation do to make them relevant to nonprofits? Cheryl Taylor, president and CEO of the Foellinger Foundation in Fort Wayne Allen County, Indiana, found a creative way for grantees to take advantage of the benefits of collaboration—at the public library.

In 1999, the foundation was looking for a way to mark its millennium anniversary. “We don’t do parties,” said Cheryl, so the foundation determined that it wanted to make a gift to the Allen County Public Library while also making a positive impact on the nonprofit sector in some way. “We decided that the library is really like a freestanding management service organization,” said Cheryl.

This is an excerpt from a blog posted yesterday on the SSRI to read the rest of the article go to the Stanford Social Innovation Review.


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