Partnerships the Nonprofit Way

Partnerships the Nonprofit Way

What Matters, What Doesn't
Stuart C. Mendel and Jeffrey L. Brudney
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/02/2018
Format: Paperback 13 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-03261-4
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Collaboration and partnership are well-known characteristics of the nonprofit sector, as well as important tools of public policy and for creating public value. But how do nonprofits form successful partnerships? From the perspective of nonprofit practice, the conditions leading to collaboration and partnership are seldom ideal. Nonprofit executives contemplating interorganizational cooperation, collaboration, networks, partnership, and merger face a bewildering array of challenges.

In Partnerships the Nonprofit Way: What Matters, What Doesn't, the authors share the success and failures of 52 nonprofit leaders. By depicting and contextualizing nonprofit organization characteristics and practices that make collaboration successful, the authors propose new theory and partnership principles that challenge conventional concepts centered on contractual fulfillment and accountability, and provide practical advice that can assist nonprofit leaders and others in creating and sustaining strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships of their own.

Author Bio

Stuart C. Mendel is the first Fellow appointed by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, editor (with Susan Cruise) of the Journal of Ideology and Associate Editor for Acquisitions for the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. He served for twenty years as Assistant Dean and Director of the Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice at Cleveland State University. He is author of Mediating Organizations, Private Government, and Civil Society: Disinvestment Through the Preservation of Wealth in Cleveland, Ohio (1950-1990) and The Essential Fundraising Guide for Deans and Directors in Higher Education.

Jeffery L. Brudney is the Betty and Dan Cameron Family Distinguished Professor of Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His publications include Fostering Volunteer Programs in the Public Sector: Planning, Initiating, and Managing Voluntary Activities. He directed the film, Building a Better Wilmington: Giving and Volunteering in the Port City, which was screened at the Cucalorus Film Festival.


“Collaboration is the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector. Yet the literature is strangely neglectful of nonprofits’ critical roles and perspectives in all kinds of cross-sector partnerships involving business, government and nonprofit organizations. No longer. This richly empirical study by Stuart C. Mendel and Jeffrey L. Brudney shines a bright and broad light on the factors that allow nonprofits and their partners to succeed in their collaborative endeavors.”
 — Dennis R. Young, editor of Financing Nonprofits: Putting Theory into Practice

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Table of Contents

A Note on Quoted Material
Introduction: Why This Book?
1. Summing Up, Summing Down: A Review of the Literature on Partnership
2. Nonprofit Partnerships: The Gold Standard
3. The Point of Partnering
4. Good to Great: Recognizing the Signs of High Quality Partnerships
5. Nonprofit Partnerships by Sub-Sector
6. Grant Makers Partnership Practices
7. Toward Nonprofit Theory: Collaboration as a Way of (Work) Life