‘Working Better Together’ Report Shows Collaboration Among Sectors

Changes have led the business community to redefine its performance standards, government to rethink its goals and nonprofits to redouble their efforts to meet rising
demands, according to a new report published by the Three Sector Initiative, a collaboration of seven organizations representing business, government and nonprofits.

Working Better Together: How Government, Business and Nonprofit Organizations Can Achieve Public Purposes Through Cross-Sector Collaboration, Alliances and
Partnerships works off the premise that technological, social and political changes have had far-reaching implications for the way government, business and nonprofit
organizations fulfill their missions and work together. The report details the ways the sectors have used collaboration to form partnerships with each other to address
complex problems.

The report also draws on regional dialogues with representatives of the three sectors, providing examples of how leaders can work together. New Hampshire Governor
Jeanne Shaheen explains that fiscal constraints motivate her state government to aggressively seek out partnerships. Chris Gates, president of the National Civic League,
says that the "rules of the road" for American communities — which contend that government owns the public agenda and that every issue has a winner and a loser — no
longer apply.

Government, business and nonprofit organizations have a history of working together to achieve public purposes, the report states, but as the lines that distinguish each
entity have become blurred, collaborative efforts can also reveal tensions and fault lines among the sectors. Working Better Together studies how cross-sector
collaboration can better serve the public and the missions of organizations.

Cross-sector collaborations, which may range from ad hoc agendas to well defined public purposes, can last for months or be ongoing. The report describes the definitive
stages of any collaborative process:

Recognizing common needs and organizational convening potential;

Mutual planning for performance;

Agreement on operational design;


Operation and management;

Performance monitoring, communication, learning and improving; and

Termination or modification of the collaboration.

The Three Sector Initiative is a collaboration among the Conference Board, the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, the National Academy of Public
Administration, the National Alliance of Business, the National Civic League and the National Governors Association. An executive summary of Working Better Together
is available at The full report is available for purchase by calling 1-888-860-8118 or visiting the website.

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