I love hearing about creative ways that nonprofit organizations combine program and corporate structures in order to expand their impact. If it’s change that results in helping more people then I am always interested in what the nonprofit leaders are up to. If you are like me and curious about new ways people are using strategic re-structuring strategies, then you will love the new Nonprofit Collaboration Database created through the Lodestar Foundation,  based at the University of Arizona. This is a searchable database consisting of 176 collaboration models submitted by nonprofit organizations to the Lodestar Foundation’s 2009 Collaboration Prize.  The Collaboration Prize competition awards $250,000 to the top nonprofit collaboration and has been awarded only once so far.  The nominators provided the information on the database and it’s possible to trace back to the organizations involved to discuss their collaborations with them directly.

The database allows you to perform many search combinations, and modify the searchable criteria. Users can find matches to even the most complex of searches, for example, groups of three or more nonprofits which formed a federation to co-locate their programs only in the southwestern United States. The goal is for researchers to use the database to identify interesting trends or to learn about effective ways to use strategic re-structuring strategies for nonprofits.

In the past, little information was accessible to nonprofit leaders and stakeholders about nonprofit collaborations of any kind. Today, as a result of efforts like the Lodestar Foundation’s database, much more information is available. This increased availability drives new research on corporate structure and the fairly new set of strategies that support collaboration.