This is an update to an earlier blog posting I wrote for SSIR about The Collaboration Prize, being offered jointly by the Lodestar Foundation and the Arizona-Indiana-Michigan Alliance (AIM). This unique competition will award a cash prize of $250,000 to the best nonprofit collaboration in the country. Out of a total of 644 entries received for the competition, the blue ribbon selection committee narrowed the list down to the top thirty collaborations last December. Today the Lodestar Foundation and AIM announced the top eight finalists for the award, out of which the eventual winner will be chosen. The winner of the prize will be announced March 5th.

The Collaboration Prize finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  1. Cancer Vaccine Collaborative, New York, New York, Cancer research collaboration promoting learning over competition
  2. Chattanooga Museums Collaboration, Chattanooga, Tennessee,  Administrative collaboration among The Creative Discovery Museum, The Hunter Museum of American Art and the Tennessee Aquarium
  3. Crittenton Women’s Union, Boston, Massachusetts, Merger of two organizations serving low-income women
  4. Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, Texas, Merger among the Dallas Children’s Museum, The Science Place and Dallas Museum of Natural History
  5. New York LawHelp Consortium, New York, New York, Collaboration among legal services organizations providing on-line resources
  6. Ready, Set, Parent, Buffalo and Lackawanna, New York, Collaboration between organizations supporting at-risk new parents
  7. ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, Ilwaco, Washington, Merger of two community development financial institutions
  8. YMCA/JCC Integration, Sylvania, Ohio (Greater Toledo), Merger of Jewish Community Center and Young Men’s Christian Association in Greater Toledo

This is an incredibly diverse list of collaborations and mergers and there is much to be admired and learned from all of them. I will be investigating these collaborations further and writing about them for SSIR and in my blog. Congratulations to all the finalists!

imageJean Butzen, Mission Plus Strategy consulting, specializes in mergers and alliances in the Chicago area.