Why Collaborate?

At its best, collaboration results in progress towards deep change. It can accomplish this because:

  • The diversity and number of actors involved turns up the volume on the “ask” in the media and with policymakers, which can dramatically increase the impact of advocacy;
  • The diversity of actors involved allows the “right” person to step up at the right time (e.g., the “expert” may not be the best person to communicate that message). Few organizations have strong lobbying, research, media and grassroots capacities in-house. Instead, they tend to specialize in one or two areas. Ensuring that these strengths are combined as part of a coordinated campaign increases the chances of success;
  • Funders are exposed to a diverse grouping of players trying to achieve complementary goals. This exposure allows them to witness first-hand the macro-needs in the sector. This in turn produces more targeted and increased funding that meets real needs and the relevant solutions;
  • The potential for innovation is increased, which is particularly needed on complex global issues like climate change, where traditional advocacy approaches – while important – have not been sufficient to reach the advocacy community’s overall goals; and
  • The risks of experimenting with a new approach are mitigated in collaborations (much like a diversified investment portfolio decreases risk), as it is no longer one organization branding/funding/running the initiative. In contrast, if a single organization were to pursue the same project alone, it would need to devote a larger portion of its resources, staff time, and overall brand to achieve the same goals— potentially institutionalizing a new approach that doesn’t work, risking the organizations’ reputation, and increasing opportunity costs (fewer resources devoted to other campaigns).  

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Advocacy Funding.