Making Collaboration Fashionable


Last week, I participated as a model in the 3rd annual Washington AIDS Partnership AmeriCorps team’s “Fashionably Aware” fashion show. After I got over my nervousness, I started reflecting on all the collaboration that must have gone into producing this wonderful event. The Washington AIDS Partnership does know a thing or two about collaboration:

  • – More than 40 funders currently pool their resources!
  • – at 18 years old, one of the oldest AIDS Partnerships in the country
  • – gifts of over $15 million to 140 area organizations over the course of its history
  • – a 100 percent retention rate with its AmeriCorps volunteers who help fight our region’s AIDS epidemic

The Partnership is one of the finest examples in this region-or any region-of what can happen through collaborative funding, under the umbrella of a regional grantmaking association. Collectively, grantmakers are able to amplify the positive effects of their grantmaking with a strong public policy voice and a powerful community presence.

Since the benefits are obvious, this is a model (no pun intended) that I would encourage us to consider using more often. Lessons from the Partnership’s successes are now guiding planning for the Prince George’s Funders Network, the funding collaborative that is emerging from our Sustainable Communities Working Group.

It’s this collaborative spirit and approach that will continue to make Grantmakers in our region a model for the rest of the country.