March 2011

When does collaboration make sense?

Volume 16 , Number 1

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March 2011

When does collaboration make sense?

Volume 16 , Number 1

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‘Collaboration’ has become a buzzword among foundations recently, and the general consensus is that it is a good thing. But when it comes to the reality of working together, there are many approaches that could be taken. Is collaboration the best way in every circumstance? To identify its proper role, guest editor Barry Knight starts from a sceptical point of view.

The feature starts with a debate between Jeff Yost and Richard Best as they make the case for and against collaboration respectively. Following this is a series of articles detailing individual experiences from people involved in collaboratives including Zimbabwe Alliance, The Elders, Italy’s Fondazioni4 Africa, two pan-European programmes, the European Programme for Integration and Migration and the Youth Empowerment Partnership Programme, and a new funders’ collaborative to tackle racial equity in Brazil. Further reading on the subject is suggested by Filiz Bikmen and Göran Blomqvist.

The March issue of Alliance also includes Helmut Anheier on some ‘nagging issues’ for European foundations, with a response from Luc Tayart de Borms and Gerry Salole, an interview with Ashan al-Qattan, and further opinion columns, articles, reviews, conference reports and global updates.

Guest Editors' Article

Reframing the collaboration debate

1 March 2011
Barry Knight

The word ‘collaboration’ is the latest buzzword for foundations. It is used in many situations, both formal and informal, where foundations try to achieve things together. So what do we mean by collaboration? When does it make sense? What are the hurdles to be overcome? In this special feature, we aim to answer these questions. We have contributors from all over the world who tell their real-life stories of how collaboration works in practice. It …

 
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Editorial

Covers we didn’t choose …

Searching for a cover photo for an Alliance special feature can be an illuminating experience in itself. When thinking about collaboration, we turned first to the natural world. Ants and bees spring immediately to mind, but the photos are unappealing, a mass of insects crawling together in an undifferentiated whole. There can be fewer examples of more effective collaboration than among ants and bees, but the loss of individual identity and need for self-sacrifice is great. Such self-effacement in the common cause is probably not a model that would appeal to human would-be collaborators but it vividly reflects the cost-benefit …

Letters

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No doubt Paul Shoemaker intends to provoke in his article ‘Raising the bar for philanthropy’ (December 2010). Taking the bait …

Donor education is vital

Michael Alberg-Seberich

Paul Shoemaker (December 2010) is right: we have to raise the bar for philanthropy. He is right that a crucial …