VCC Workshop Offers Help on Partnering for Success
We’ve all been there at some point in time. You set up a collaboration for a specific project and, six months in, you wonder what ever possessed you to jump into this madness, um, we mean, partnership. Maybe someone didn’t complete their assigned tasks for two months in a row. Or maybe someone forgot to include a critical element of their work in the project budget and is now asking for that to be covered. Maybe someone just doesn’t play well with others. Suddenly, your vision of a healthy and happy relationship is soiled. You wonder if you can even continue to project completion. UGH, the pain.
This is not to say that all partnerships are akin to root canals. Many are quite successful and lead to additional opportunities. A number of small nonprofits owe their emergence to a little help from like-minded organizations.
So much depends on numerous factors that may seem fundamental to the process of partnership development. But “Working in Teams and Collaborations--Partnership for Success,” a day-long workshop presented by Virginia Community Capital (VCC), proves that successful collaborations are more than accidental.
Led by Facilitator Becky Clay Christensen, over 40 professionals from various nonprofit organizations in and around the New River Valley convened to explore the boons and banes of partnerships on Thursday, September 16 at the NRV Competitiveness Center. The event is part of VCC’s Community Development Learning Initiative (CDLI), a series of educational opportunities underway across the Commonwealth and made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The City of Radford Department of Social Services and BB&T provided additional support for the Radford-based workshop.
The day passed quickly as attendees worked in groups on interactive exercises designed to illustrate how a deliberative process can benefit partnership development. Kim Matthews from New River Community Action recalled the exercises in comments provided after the meeting: “The group activities gave us the opportunity to combine ideas and problem solve.” Matthews also appreciated the presentation on the New River Valley HOME Consortium by Jennifer Wilsie, regional planner from the New River Valley Planning District Commission, and Kamilia Lawson, with Community Housing Partners (CHP), noting: “The NRV HOME Consortium presentation was great because they used visuals and it was very interactive. It also gave us real life examples of road blocks than can be encountered when creating partnerships.”>
Another guest presenter for the day was Orlando Artze, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for CHP. Artze offered perspectives on building partnerships with funding agencies at both a local and national level. VCC’s own Teresa Walker made a cameo during the day as well, announcing a regional asset building partnership called Virginia Saves-NRV Partnership, a collaboration with many partners, including representatives from Virginia Cooperative Extension, Beans and Rice, Consumer Credit Counseling Service/Money Management International, Carillion Clinic-NRV, VT Saves, SunTrust Bank and Community Housing Partners Corp.
VCC will sponsor another session of “Working in Teams and Collaborations-Partnership for Success,” on October 26, to be held in Martinsville, Virginia. Find sign-up information at our Web site.
VCC’s CDLI expands upon our core mission and serves to build many new partnerships across the region. The two-year program collaborates with existing agencies to help strengthen the capacity of nonprofits in Virginia as they plan and implement community development projects.
About Virginia Community Capital:
With offices in Christiansburg and Richmond, Virginia Community Capital (VCC) is dedicated to the prospect of building wealth for all through our lending, savings, and advisory services. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), our mission is to offer innovative, flexible financial products designed to support housing and community development ventures, increase jobs, and encourage sustainable communities. In partnership with our for-profit bank, Community Capital Bank of Virginia (CCB), the non-profit VCC offers loan capital broader and more flexible than bank lending in low- to moderate-income communities in underserved geographies and markets. Learn more at vacommunitycapital.org.