Non-profits who participate in the sharing economy through collaboration with other non-profits enjoy financial, human resource and operational benefits.
Organizations can reduce operating costs by sharing human and other resources that would not be fully utilized by one organization alone. Organizations with space or other assets can offset the costs of those assets by renting them as needed to other organizations. Sharing services, either through purchasing or shared staff, can reduce the overall cost that an organization would incur if they were to purchase a smaller quantity of the resource on an individual basis.
Human Resource Benefits
Sharing employees can provide a career path within a smaller organization that might not otherwise be able to offer advancement opportunities. Sharing access to training and other services can also increase employee retention, satisfaction and performance.
Whether sharing space, software or resources, non-profit partners in a sharing arrangement are more likely to collaborate in other areas. For example, if several organizations with aligned missions share space, they may be better able to coordinate programs for their target markets.
While the benefits are significant, non-profits interested in sharing arrangements may run into resistance. Board members and employees may fear the loss of complete management control, have concerns about whether competing organizations may have access to closely guarded donor information, or be worried about job losses and/or upsetting team dynamics.