Together we can go so far

Our community has complex issues. Issues that cannot be solved by one individual organization, but can be addressed by a collective joining of organizations working together to achieve a common goal. Complex issues require complex solutions. As one of United Way’s strategic values, collaboration means that we work together with stakeholders to achieve a shared community goal. We work constantly to facilitate organizations coming together collaboratively; we bring multiple skill-sets and different strengths together to achieve what no one organization can accomplish alone. We want to see agencies joining forces, pooling resources, and creating cooperative approaches to problem solving.

We have learned that the only way to solve complex problems is to gain the commitment of a group of organizations from different sectors working towards a common agenda. One of the greatest powers of United Way is collective impact. No one can solve the community’s challenges alone, but when we truly work together we have significantly more influence. Collaboration. That seems like such a simple solution, but all too often it can become a tangled, even messy process. The tendency to cling tight to what has always been is a very real and tangible force. Knocking down those silos and doing things in cooperative groups can be more difficult than you might think. Really, it just makes sense that as humans we have an inclination to hesitate; groups can be messy. Data is sometimes sensitive. Processes can be riddled with proprietary feelings. Funding often feels scarce. Missions feel personal. Borders and rivers can appear wider than they are. There seem a million and one reasons why working with other people can be challenging. There’s one reason why collaboration is important, actually critical, in a successful community: community means we’re in this together. One community with common needs and shared goals. Inspiring our community to embrace collaboration, apportioning both benefits and burdens, and working towards a common purpose — that’s our vision for a stronger, safer and healthier community. Collaboration works like a snowball: working together builds safety nets that both catch us when we fall and propel us forward to opportunities we might not have been capable of reaching alone. Working together through collaboration, we can build a better future for our community. We all want to be part of organizations that do things the right way. We all feel energized and invigorated when we are immersed in a unique atmosphere of collaboration and engagement. United Way creates exactly that! We bring together individuals, businesses, government, schools, and other nonprofits, to make positive change happen in our community. We encourage conversations and facilitate collaboration across the entire Mid-Ohio Valley. We believe whole heartedly that proactive programs, collaborative energy and empowered individuals create resiliency — and that in turn builds stronger economies and healthy, safe communities. Collaboration is good for everyone. Collaboration is essential for success.

Great things really do happen when we LIVE UNITED in our community.

Stacy DeCicco is executive director of the United Way alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

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