The Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington was nominated for its best practice of collaborative partnerships. In this space I explore with BGCB’s president Jeff Baldwin his beliefs regarding the importance of relational management and why he thinks more non-profits should learn to collaborate.
This is an article I wrote as apart of a state sponsored grant portfolio, Bright Ideas Indiana, researching and highlighting best nonprofit practices in the State of Indiana.
The Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington (BGCB) is deeply collaborative. A glance at their 2014 Annual report will show you that three pages (17, 18, and 19) of their 28 page document are dedicated to listing and thanking their partners. Organizations ranging from chiropractors and restaurants to sports leagues and satellite providers have hitched themselves to the BGCB support wagon. Yet, while individuals and organizations may be eager to partner with BGCB today, that hasn’t always been the case.
Jeff Baldwin, Executive Director of BGCB, commented, “Early on we understood that if we were going to realize success as an organization, we were going to have to build bridges as much as we possibly could.” BGCB understood it was more strategic to partner with organizations whose programming and resources they admired rather than try to create their own from scratch. Therefore, as an organization, BGCB began to form strategic partnerships with other nonprofits in their community.
To name a few, BGCB formed a partnership with Big Brother, Big Sister to create a mentorship program for their club members. Big Brother, Big Sister have their ‘bigs’ match up with club kids at BGCB’s units to conduct mentoring sessions with the children…