ASU Lodestar Center Blog

Current nonprofit sector research and recommendations for effective day-to-day practice from ASU faculty, staff, students, and the nonprofit and philanthropic community.

Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 2:57pm
posted by Jill Watts,
Director of Capacity
Building Initiatives
ASU Lodestar Center

Today the Lodestar Foundation announced the eight Finalists for the 2011 Collaboration Prize. The Collaboration Prize was created and is funded by The Lodestar Foundation in collaboration with the Arizona-Indiana-Michigan (AIM) Alliance, of which the ASU Lodestar Center is an integral part. These model collaborations were selected from a pool of over 800 applications from around the country.

The winner of the $250,000 prize will be announced in April, and is chosen by a Final Selection Panel of national experts chaired by Sterling Speirn, CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Finalists are:

Although no collaborations from Arizona made it to the final cut, we still have much to be proud of in our home state. Not only is the Collaboration Prize the creation of the Arizona-based Lodestar Foundation, but Arizona is also home to many great examples of nonprofit organizations working together to be more effective and put their missions first.

However, we still have much to learn. No one said collaborating is easy, and a whole section of the Collaboration Prize application is dedicated to “challenges along the way.” As a reviewer in the earlier rounds of selection, I found this section to have perhaps the richest information on what worked, what didn’t, how, and why. I, for one, would always prefer to learn from others’ mistakes than make them myself!

There were many impressive demonstrations of success among the applications that were truly awe-inspiring. Examples ranged from revitalizing marginalized and blighted neighborhoods to providing health care solutions in otherwise fractured and disparate systems.

One of the coolest things about The Collaboration Prize is that the organizers don’t want any of these success stories to be kept a secret. They want everyone to have access to the wisdom gained not just from the Finalists, but from all of the applicants. This information is organized in an easy-to-use, online database. Check it out!

Congratulations to the 8 Finalists and best wishes to all nonprofits doing this challenging work.


I remember a couple of years ago when we had some of the collaboration prize finalists present at our spring forum. I was lucky enough to be in the same break-out session as one of the winning collaborations, and it was really inspiring to see how two ideologically different religious organizations were able to work together for the greater good. I'm excited to see how this new batch of finalists have come together and put their mission above politics or bureaucracy.

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