Montana Nonprofit Association

promoting a strong nonprofit sector in MONTANA

Principle: Strategic Alliances

Strategic alliances can take many forms, including the sharing of information and resources, partnerships, collaborations, consolidations, and mergers with nonprofit and for-profit entities. Strategic alliances help to strengthen individual nonprofit capacity, as well as the capacity of the sector as a whole. Strategic alliances and partnerships with public and private sector entities can serve to fill in gaps in services to constituents and communities and reduce the competition for resources. 


1. A nonprofit should actively seek strategic alliances as a means to help achieve goals, improve effectiveness and organizational efficiency, ensure effective use of charitable resources, strengthen community connections with constituents and others, and improve services.

2. Decisions regarding alliances should be consistent with the strategic goals of an organization; the impact on the brand and image of the organization should be positive. A nonprofit should carefully consider how entering into strategic alliances will affect all parties involved. Strategic alliances should never be made purely to meet funding challenges and should be made only between competent and functioning organizations.

3. On a regular basis, a nonprofit board of directors should conduct a community assessment to identify organizations providing similar services and to assess its relationship to/with those organizations.

Relationship Building and Strategies
4. A nonprofit should be knowledgeable about other organizations providing similar or complementary services in its community and/or service area and be prepared to identify, promote, and provide referrals to other organizations that may be better able to meet the needs of its constituents. 

5. When appropriate, a nonprofit should foster relationships with similar organizations and state, regional, and national associations to support the advancement of its mission.

6. When appropriate, larger nonprofits should assist smaller nonprofits through alliances and resource sharing.

7. To promote overall accountability within the sector, a nonprofit should openly communicate with other nonprofits to gather and share information on lessons learned and best practices.

8. Nonprofits should be open to consolidating and/or merging their organizations when it is in the best interest of the constituents, community, or service area to avoid unproductive duplication of services and to maximize available resources. 

9. Nonprofits that have local chapters, branches, or affiliates should have written policies and procedures governing the activities of those chapters, branches or affiliates to ensure their operations are consistent with the mission of the governing organizations.

10. If a nonprofit organization is anticipating a strategic alliance, partnership, or similar interaction with a for-profit entity, the nonprofit must determine the specific tax implications that may be related to the income associated with the venture and any potential impact on its tax exempt status.

11. A nonprofit should work to establish communication with and mutual understanding among government, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors.

Information & Technology ~  Evaluation 

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