Apply for the Prize

In 2011, the Collaboration Prize will award a total of $250,000 to the collaborations that best exemplify the impact that can result from working together. Each of the eight finalists will receive $12,500 and the winner will receive an additional $150,000.
Online applications will be available beginning June 1, 2010.

Eligibility
To be eligible for the 2011 Collaboration Prize:
The collaboration must have been formed between/among two or more nonprofit organizations (a government entity, including a public agency, may be a member of the collaboration);
Parties to the collaboration must have executed a written formal agreement that is enduring and that addresses the management and operation of the collaboration;

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Through that agreement, parties to the collaboration must either assign responsibility for program or administrative decision making and authority;
The collaboration must have been in operation for at least 18 months, as evidenced by both the date on which the agreement governing the collaboration was signed and the period over which activities have been conducted by the collaboration; and
The parties to the collaboration must be located in the United States, and the majority of the activities of the collaboration must be located in the United States.
All collaborations nominated for the 2009 Collaboration Prize, with the exception of the eight finalists, are eligible to apply for the 2011 Prize.

Criteria
Each collaboration will be judged on the extent to which the collaboration:
demonstrates improved effectiveness in achieving social good,
more effectively uses human and financial resources,
represents an innovative response to a specific challenge or opportunity, and
exhibits characteristics that would demonstrate that the collaboration is a field, sector, or community model.

Selection process
The Collaboration Prize features a multi-layered approach to selecting winners for the 2011 Prize. The process is designed to include input from members of the nonprofit community and expert involvement for choosing the finalists and winner.

All applications will be reviewed for eligibility, with eligible applications scored by La Piana Consulting. The top 90 scoring applicants will be reviewed and scored by members of the AIM Alliance to identify the top 20, which will be finalized by the Lodestar Foundation and La Piana Consulting. In late fall 2010, the Final Selection Panel will choose the eight finalists and site visits will be scheduled with all finalists. The 2011 Prize winner will be chosen by the Final Selection Panel.

Key dates leading to the awarding of the 2011 Collaboration Prize:
June 1
Application period opens

July 16
Application period closes

October 27
Semi-finalists (top 20 collaborations) announced

November 8
Final Selection Panel review of semi-finalists begins

December 8
Final Selection Panel review of semi-finalists ends

January 7
Finalists announced

April 1
Winner of the 2011 Collaboration Prize announced

The Collaboration Prize winner and finalists will be announced in April 2011.

About the Collaboration Prize

The 2011 Collaboration Prize is a national award presented to nonprofit organizations that collaborate effectively to gain greater impact.

In 2011, the Collaboration Prize will award a total of $250,000 to the collaborations that best exemplify the impact that can result from working together. Each of the eight finalists will receive $12,500 and the winner will receive an additional $150,000.

The Prize is designed to identify and showcase models of collaboration among nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the impact that can be achieved from working together, the Prize shines a spotlight on collaborations among two or more nonprofit organizations that cooperate to demonstrate innovative and effective responses to challenges or opportunities.

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Applications for the 2011 Collaboration Prize open June 1, 2010, and close on July 16, 2010. The 2011 Prize features a streamlined online application. Applications may be submitted by any individual familiar with the collaboration, including an employee of any entity involved in the collaboration. Find details about Prize eligibility, criteria, key dates and selection process.

Our history
The Collaboration Prize was created and is funded by The Lodestar Foundation in collaboration with the Arizona-Indiana-Michigan (AIM) Alliance and leaders in the nonprofit sector. Learn more about our partners.

The Prize was first awarded in 2009. It attracted 644 nominations and yielded powerful models of collaboration in which organizations achieved greater impact and efficiency through working together. Learn more about the 2009 Collaboration Prize Winners and Finalists.

Our impact
In addition to identifying and showcasing exceptional nonprofit collaboration efforts, the Collaboration Prize provides models and best practices for the field through the Nonprofit Collaboration Database, a resource for everyone seeking real-life examples of how nonprofit organizations are working together.

Housed on the Foundation Center’s website, the database contains information on 250 of the collaborations nominated for the 2009 Prize, and will be further expanded to include new collaboration models resulting from the 2011 Prize process, as well as other examples of nonprofits working together. Learn more about the Nonprofit Collaboration Database.

Collaboration Resources

The Foundation Center has recommended a number of books and recently published articles that are found in its collection.  Many of these resources are also available on-line either through the publisher or popular websites such as Amazon.

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View their entry on Nonprofit Collaboration in the Nonprofit Literature Blog.

There are also organizations that maintain resources related to collaboration on their websites.  A select list of those sites includes:

  • Arizona-Indiana-Michigan (AIM) Alliance, Collaboration Research will post any materials it creates on Nonprofit Collaboration to this website.
  • Fieldstone Alliance has free tools and resources on its website, including a number on collaboration.
  • La Piana Consulting, Strategic Restructuring contains a variety of tools, resources, and case studies on a continuum of collaborative partnerships.
  • The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Strategic Alliances Project includes a number of case studies highlighting different types of partnerships.

Searchable Database of 176 Nominations

Use the following tool to search the database of 176 nominations selected for further consideration in The Collaboration Prize.

Instructions:
Click on the + sign to see options within a search category. Click − to hide the options.

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Click on the to select a search option. You may select multiple options to refine your search.
Hover your cursor over a search term to see definitions or clarifications, when available.

GENERAL SEARCHES
Search the Nomination Letters by Key Word or Phrase
Search by Name of Collaboration Partner(s)
Type of Collaboration
Geographic Scope
Geographic Location
Collaboration Focus Area
Year Collaboration was Established
REASONS TO COLLABORATE
Goals Sought Through Collaboration
Circumstances Prompting Collaboration
COLLABORATION PROCESS AND STRUCTURE
Initiators
Nature of Funder Involvement
Number of Participating Organizations
Were Partners Added or Dropped?
Type of Agreement
Management Structure
Challenges
COLLABORATION OUTCOMES
Organizational Efficiencies and Effectiveness
Community Impact

2009 Winners & Finalists

Click here to watch the Collaboration Prize award event video, including the finalists’ presentations, Matthew Bishop’s keynote address, and the awarding of the prize.

Download the Finalists Document PDF

644 nominations were received in the inaugural year of the Prize. The nominations were reviewed by La Piana Associates, a national consulting firm dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations become stronger and more effective through collaboration. 173 nominations were selected for further review using a detailed scoring rubric.
The 120 nominations receiving the highest scores were selected as quarter-finalists. The quarterfinalists were reviewed and scored by the AIM Alliance, a collaboration among The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and The Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley State University (Michigan). Each Center utilized the same scoring criteria in determining those nominations that would move to the next step in the process.

30 top scoring nominations were selected as semi-finalists. The semi-finalists were reviewed and scored by the Final Selection Panel, which was chaired by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and included representatives of both the nonprofit and for-profit sector.

8 nominations were selected as finalists. Site visits to each of the finalists were conducted by La Piana Associates and the AIM Alliance. The site visits were designed to verify information in the nomination and to develop a deeper understanding of the value of the collaboration as a model, the quality of the collaborative relationships, and the community impact of the collaboration.

With additional information gathered in the site visits, the Final Selection Panel scored the finalists. Through this rigorous process, the winners of The Collaboration Prize were selected. These winners represent the “best of the best” – an exemplary model for the sector.

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The collaboration prize 2009 finalists

The Collaboration Prize is designed to inspire cooperation among nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the efficiencies gained from working together, the Prize shines a spotlight on collaborations among two or more nonprofit organizations that each would otherwise provide the same or similar programs or services and compete for clients, financial resources, or staff.
In the summer of 2008, over 600 nominations were received for the inaugural year of the Prize. Each nomination was evaluated according to a comprehensive scoring rubric. The collaborations that advanced demonstrated quantifiable evidence that they achieved exceptional impact and substantially eliminated the duplication of efforts through programmatic collaborations, administrative consolidation, or other joint activities.
All submissions were reviewed for eligibility by La Piana Associates, one of the nation’s leading management and consulting firms dedicated to helping nonprofits and foundations become stronger and more effective through collaboration. The recipient of the $250,000 award is chosen by a Final Selection Panel, which has been chaired by Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and included representatives of both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.
The eight finalists are showcased herein.
The Collaboration Prize was created by the Lodestar Foundation. The mission of the Lodestar Foundation is to maximize the growth and impact of philanthropy.

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This mission is fulfilled, in part, by supporting collaborations that increase impact and eliminate duplication of efforts among nonprofits that would otherwise compete. In support of this mission, Lodestar seeks to identify achievements in collaboration as models for inspiration and replication in the nonprofit world.
The Prize also seeks to build an information base of effective practice models that can be studied and used by academics, nonprofit leaders, and grantmakers to inspire and advance their work. True to the spirit of collaboration, the Lodestar Foundation has partnered with the AIM Alliance on these efforts.
The Arizona-Indiana-Michigan (AIM) Alliance is a collaboration comprising The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and The Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley State University (Michigan). The AIM Alliance assists in promoting and publicizing the Collaboration Prize, reviewing nominations and selecting semi-finalists. The AIM Alliance is also involved in creating articles, white papers, and research to inform and inspire others in the sector.

FAQs

Prize Information
Who funds The Collaboration Prize?
Why was The Collaboration Prize developed?
How is collaboration defined?
When will the Prize be awarded?
What is the monetary award and how can it be used?
What role does the AIM Alliance play?
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Who is eligible to be nominated?
What are the selection criteria?
What indicators will be used to assess the extent to which the collaboration has a permanent structure?
Do organizations that competed solely for funding before becoming collaborators meet The Collaboration Prize requirement regarding competitors who chose to collaborate?
Nomination and Selection Process
When do nominations open and close for the 2008-2009 Prize?
Who can submit a nomination?
Can a person nominate more than one collaboration?
How do I submit a nomination?
Must nominations be in English?
Do all questions have to be answered and required materials submitted at the time of nomination?

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Should nominators let the collaboration know that it is being nominated?
Will nominees know who nominated them?
Who makes the final selection of the Prize winner?
What will be required of semi-finalists and finalists?
Is it possible to check the status of an application?

2009 Winners & Finalists

Watch individual segments, including the finalists’ presentations, Matthew Bishop’s keynote address, and the awarding of the prize.

The winners of The Collaboration Prize were selected through a rigorous evaluation and judging process. These winners represent the “best of the best” – exemplary models for the sector.

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The winners were selected from a group of 8 finalists. Site visits to each of the finalists were conducted by La Piana Consulting and the AIM Alliance. The site visits were designed to verify information in the nomination and to develop a deeper understanding of the value of the collaboration as a model, the quality of the collaborative relationship, and the community impact of the collaboration.

30 top scoring nominations were selected as semi-finalists. The semi-finalists were reviewed and scored by the Final Selection Panel, which was chaired by Sterling Speirn, President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and included representatives of both the nonprofit and for-profit sector.

The 120 nominations receiving the highest scores were selected as quarter-finalists. The quarterfinalists were selected from the pool of nominations screened by La Piana Consulting for further review and scoring by the AIM Alliance. Each Center utilized the same scoring criteria in determining those nominations that would move to the next step in the process.

Download a printable list of all quarter-finalists, semi-finalists, and finalists (PDF)

The AIM Alliance is a collaboration among The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and The Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley State University (Michigan) focused on addressing the needs of an evolving nonprofit sector.

La Piana Consulting is a national firm dedicated to strengthening nonprofits and foundations that has conducted research and written extensively on the topic of strategic partnerships and collaboration.

Nominating a Collaboration

Do you know a nonprofit collaboration that is achieving greater community impact, greater efficiency with resources, or both? If you are familiar with the collaboration and not an employee of any organization involved, you can nominate that collaboration.
The nomination process begins June 1, 2008 and closes at 5 p.m. EDT on July 21, 2008.

Learn more about eligibility and selection criteria.

Find out what you need to do as a nominator.

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Download nomination package (eligibility and selection criteria, selection timeline, nominator instructions, and nomination forms).

Download nomination package (eligibility and selection criteria, selection timeline, nominator instructions, and nomination forms).

Register to receive updates so your favorite collaboration doesn’t miss out on $250,000.

Nomination Package

This package describes materials needed for nomination and provides all necessary forms.

Download the package in Microsoft Word (you can complete it, save changes and print).

This is a complete package that includes all the necessary details and information that one may need for the nomination process. It makes it convenient as you do not have to run around or try to find more information from various resources.
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Download the package as a PDF (you can view, print and complete by hand)