“Ever since I took that parenting class, I just adopted the Partnership building,” says Lattie. He took a computer class run by Goodwill. Then he started volunteering.
He’s now a member of a Street Team, visiting schools and handing out flyers to spread the word to other families in his neighborhood.
Lattie insists, “If I had not gone to that block party, I wouldn’t be as nurturing. Now I can be an example for people out here. As a man, a father being this nurturing, that rings a bell for people. It sets the tone.” The Partnership must constantly work to balance the centrifugal forces that can easily undo any collaborative effort, including:
- Changing priorities among each partner organization’s funders
- Concerns about protecting family privacy and the integrity of each partner when data is shared
- Discomfort among the partners regarding transparency into each other’s operations
- A systemic lack of resources thanks to the shoestring budgets that most non-profits and government agencies have to work with
- The time that collaboration requires, such as attending and documenting meetings to make sure everyone’s on the same page
But the results make it worth the effort. Bill is now retired, but as he points out, “This kind of collaboration is still in the news in the philanthropic community. That’s a measure of the virtues of collaborative work and the challenges involved. It’s gratifying to know that we were and are on the cutting edge.” ■