The Collaboration Hub

Collaboration - the What? the Why? the How?

At it's core, collaboration is about partnership. Working in tandem with like-minded partners in any walk of life can a number of potential benefits. This is especially true for Irish community and voluntary organisations, who are tasked with delivering much-needed services throughout the community, but who must also work to tight budgets and requirements. Collaboration can help these organisation to achieve by their shared goals and missions by:

  • Reducing the costs for each organisation as they pool resources and eliminate potential duplication of services;
  • Sharing expert knowledge and skills between partner organisations, thereby allowing each organisation to strengthen its own capacity to deliver;
  • Strenghtening the credibility of all collaborating partners, as they publicly demonstrate unity and efficiency in the delivery of joint ventures.

There are many types of collaboration. Organisations already regularly engage in everything from once-off collaborative projects to more sustained and long-term partnerships, and right up to actual mergers between two organisations.

The purpose of the Collaborative Hub is to put collaboration into context for you. You can use the sections below to learn more about the different types of collaboration that your organisation could conceivably engage in, as well as to access additional resources and tools that will help you on your collaborative journey. 

The Wheel's Collaborations

Click here to download an up-to-date list of The Wheel's own collaborative partnerships.

Please click on any of the headings below to learn more.

Interested in collaborating with a partner organisation? Not sure where to start? Or, do you just want to learn more? 

Click the button to get started... ►  
 

The Wheel's latest Good Practice Guide - Collaborate to Innovate - has been created to provide Irish community and voluntary organisations with the practical tools and clear guidance they need to make collaboration work for them.

Produced in partnership with Prospectus Strategy Consultants, this 52-pg colour guide will walk you through the entire collaboration process, from the basics to the diagnosis phase, the planning phase and the actual implementation phase. The guide also includes a number of key templates and tools to keep your collaboration on the right track and moving forward.

Purchase the Collaborate to Innovate Guide now.

 

Background

The Wheel launched the Colllaborate to Innovate Progamme in early 20111, with the express aim of helping community and voluntary organisations to explore collaborative working and mergers.
 
The first stage of the programme consisted of four free half-day seminars which were held in Dublin, Cork and Galway, to introduce the concept of collaborative working.
 
The next stage of the programme saw us invite applications from community and voluntary organisations that wished to take part. We were eager to hear from both existing (or planned) collaborative groupings as well as from organisations still seeking a collaborative partner. 
 
The successful applicants (see below) were then provided with a number of supports to assist them with their collaborative projects. These supports included:
 
  • An initial half-day session at which 2-3 board members, the CEO and senior management teams explored their joint venture/merger proposition and developed a joint work-plan with their partner. For organisations without a partner, the team developed a realistic sense of what was achievable and of what they needed to do to make a successful joint venture a reality.
  • A second half-day session in which the group looked at a draft joint work-plan and critically analysed it to ensure it was feasible and that it would deliver on the working together objectives.
  • Each organisation also received five hours of ongoing one-to-one coaching through the implementation of the agreed joint work-plan.
  • A final half-day review meeting was then held at the end of the project to examine the progress that had been made and the challenges that remained.
The Collaborate to Innovate Programme forms the basis for the new Collaborate to Innovate Good Practice Guide (now available for purchase).
 
The Collaborate to Innovate Programme was funded by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation and The Wheel delivered the programme in association with Prospectus Strategy Consultants.
 

Collaborate to Innovate Programme Participants

As Stand-Alone Organisations:
 
  • Cope Galway
  • Southwest Counselling Centre
  • Treoir
As part of a pair / cluster of Organisations:
 
  • Ana Liffey Drug Project
  • Coolmine Therapeutic Community
     
  • Hartstown-Huntstown Community Drugs Team
  • Mountview-Blakestown Community Drugs Team
     
  • National Adult Literacy Agency
  • AONTAS 
     
  • National Children’s Nurseries Association
  • Irish Preschool Play Association
     
  • The Carers Association
  • Caring for Carers Ireland
     
  • Roscommon Transport Collaboration Group:
    • North & South Roscommon Community Forum
    • Roscommon Retail Therapy
    • Brothers of Charity Services
    • Kilbride Community Development Company
    • Roscommon Rural Transport Company
       
  • National Collective of Community-Based Women’s Projects:
    • NCCWN
    • Dóchas for Women
    • Women’s Community Project (Mullingar) Ltd
    • Blayney Blades
    • Claremorris Women’s Group Access 2000 (Wexford) Ltd.
    • Clare Women’s Network
    • Clondalkin Women’s Network
    • Donegal Women's Network
    • Limerick Women’s Network
    • North Leitrim Women's Centre
    • Ronanstown Women’s CDP
    • Roscommon Women’s Network
    • Rowlagh Womens Group Ltd
    • Southside Women's Action Network
    • Southwest Kerry Women’s Association
    • Waterford Womens Centre (Access 2000)
    • Women Together Tallaght Network.

A Selection of Nonprofit Collaboration Resources from Ireland and Abroad: