Craig Van Korlaar

Research Friday: Ten Types of Collaboration (an alternate view)

posted by
Craig Van Korlaar, CNP,
Consultant and 
Project Manager
Create Etc.

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing series, we invite a nonprofit scholar, student, or professional to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Models of Collaboration, by professor Mark Hager and Tyler Curry, identifies and describes types of nonprofit collaborations from an analysis of the 177 nominations submitted in 2009 for the prestigious Collaboration Prize. Recently, Professor Gordon Shockley and I reviewed and re-coded the nominations. We noticed that a great deal did not fit neatly into any one model outlined in Models of Collaboration. Instead, they were often blends that involved different levels of partnership and sharing. From this, we developed an alternative list of ten types of collaboration, organized by increasing levels of integration, and which can be combined to make hybrids.


The left side of the spectrum represents partnerships. By definition, these are formal agreements between two or more organizations that wish to work together to achieve a goal. In their purest form, they involve little to no direct sharing of overhead, though some efficiencies might be seen in the long term. There are four types of partnerships, as originally laid out by Hager and Curry.

The Nonprofits That Rule Social Media & The Web

posted by
Craig Van Korlaar, CNP,
Consultant and Project Manager
Create Etc.

A while back, you might remember seeing a beautiful infographic about the social media practices of the top 50 nonprofits. When I first came across it, I was really excited. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that these were not ranked in terms of social media use, but rather based on net income. This is absolutely a valuable metric, but I was curious how this data might vary if the list was based on organizations with the strongest social media presence...the ones we stand to learn the most from.

When I could not find up to date lists containing this type of information, I figured the first step would be to gather it myself. Here is a taste of five different lists I have built over the past few months. For a legend explaining how the rankings are computed, scroll down past the lists.

Top 10 Organizations in Terms of Facebook Likes

  1. Invisible Children (Shot from 26th to 1st in under 2 weeks after release of the Kony 2012 video)
  2. National Public Radio
  3. WikiLeaks
  4. TEDTalks
  5. United States Olympic Committee
  7. Livestrong
  8. PETA
  9. (RED)
  10. Humane Society of the United States

View all 50 top nonprofits on Facebook (including logos & like buttons)  

Nonprofit Mergers - When Churches Merge

posted by
Craig Van Korlaar,
Chief Operating Officer
Open Church

In the business world, mergers and acquisitions are fairly commonplace. Those that are successful tend to benefit all involved, but the process is usually long and most will face problems and resistance along the way. The same is true for nonprofits.

The following is a combination of results from analysis I conducted last year on the 50 Collaboration Prize submissions that related to mergers, as well as two case studies from recent church mergers in the metro Phoenix area.


Redemption Merger: Similar Vision, Differing Models & Audiences

East Valley Bible (EVB) was a large, well-established 20-year-old church located in the East Valley which comprised a single campus with multiple services. EVB had well-established programs for children, families, and older adults.