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Nonprofits could collaborate more, study shows

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Seven area nonprofit agencies have done such a good job of sharing services the group will be used as a model for other nonprofit agencies needing to consolidate services.

That was the result of a survey recently conducted by North Country Management Services, Saranac Lake, for Jefferson Rehabilitation Center, Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions, Children’s Home of Jefferson County, North Country Children’s Clinic, Volunteer Transportation Center of Jefferson County, Transitional Living Services of Northern New York and Watertown Family Y. The survey was funded by the Northern New York Community Foundation and the United Way of Northern New York.

“The conclusion we all came up with is we — the funders — working with that group of seven nonprofits can take this to more of a community discussion on how some of the small- and mid-sized nonprofits can benefit from the student,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director.

Local nonprofits that want, or need, to consolidate or share services may now look to the Community Foundation and United Way to help connect them with ideas on how to start those processes, or simply get advice from the collaborative group.

While the opportunity to change is now present, JRC Executive Director Howard W. Ganter said, not every agency will make its move.

“It’s really going to take a crisis to force more collaboration in the community,” he said.

United Way Chief Professional Officer Jayn M. Graves has touted partnerships through the United Way more in the past couple of years as state money has often dried up for many grant-dependent agencies.

Although the survey showed the seven nonprofits are doing a good job of sharing resources, there are more ways to consolidate, including potential shared space and staffing.

Nonprofit organizations that wish to share services to save money may contact the United Way at 788-5631 or the Community Foundation at 782-7110.

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