Strategic Collaboration Pilot Project

The Strategic Collaboration Program is a pilot project of The Erie Community Foundation, in partnership with The Nonprofit Partnership, which will provide funding to nonprofits in Erie County that engage in the creation of collaborations to enhance their ability to serve their mission while also creating significant efficiencies. 

The collaborations can range from intensive engagements to mergers with the goal of increasing administrative efficiencies, reducing costs, enhancing programmatic impact, and advancing the long-term health and viability of the partnered entities. 

Examples of Strategic Collaborations include:

  • Shared Services:  Organizations entering into agreements for shared administrative structures would be looking to increase efficiencies while maintaining programmatic identity. This might include the combining of HR, finance, administrative support, and other elements of the two organizations.
  • Merger/Acquisition: Organizations pursing a merger or acquisition would totally integrate both the programmatic and administrative functions of the two organizations. The “new” organization would have a greater scope and ability to pursue its mission while providing for significant administrative and other efficiencies.
  • Collaboration: In this type of restructuring, organizations share the decision-making surrounding a major program or service and dually apply their unique capabilities for increased impact while maintaining independence with other elements of their individual organizations. An additional goal of this particular effort would be to create greater future alliances involving the organizations as a whole. 


The pilot project would offer organizations up to $50,000 to fund the cost (associated expenses) of creating strategic partnerships. Proposals are required to include detailed projections on how the funded partnerships will create financial efficiencies commensurate with the grant amount. 

How to Apply

Foundation consideration (on a rolling basis) begins with receipt of a one-page letter of inquiry.  Internal review may include request for additional information, meeting, and invitation to submit a full proposal per application.

For more information contact Court Gould, Vice President of Community Impact, at 814-454-0843.