2017 Collaboration Prize


UPDATE (4/21/17): Read this article in The Nonprofit Quarterly about the 2017 Collaboration Prize winner AgeWell.

Applications for the 2017 Collaboration Prize, a national competition that recognizes and celebrates nonprofit organizations that collaborate effectively to create greater impact, open on Monday, October 3, and close at the end of Wednesday, November 16. The Collaboration Prize is a a project of The Lodestar Foundation whose mission to maximize the leverage of philanthropic resources is accomplished in part through pursuit of a strategy to encourage and support long-term collaborations among nonprofits working in the same or complementary areas in order to increase efficiency and/or impact and to reduce duplication of efforts.

The Collaboration Prize identifies and showcases models of permanent collaboration between two or more nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the impact that can result from working together, the Prize shines a spotlight on collaborations that demonstrate innovative and effective responses to challenges or opportunities. A grand prize of $150,000 will be awarded to the collaboration that best exemplifies the impact that can result from working together on a permanent basis. Each of the eight finalists will receive $10,000.


In addition to identifying and showcasing exceptional nonprofit collaboration efforts, the Collaboration Prize collects and shares models and best practices for the field through the [Foundation Center’s] Nonprofit Collaboration Database, a resource for everyone seeking real-life examples of how nonprofit organizations can work together.

Among the eligibility criteria:

  • A permanent collaboration must have been formed by at least two nonprofit organizations;
  • A written formal agreement must exist that addresses the critical elements of the collaboration;
  • The collaboration must have been in operation for at least 18 months; and
  • The collaboration must do most of its work in the United States and all parties to the collaboration must be located in the United States.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Collaborations: The Structural Options

While there is no denying the importance of collaborations for many organizations, and particularly to tackle larger social problems, leaders of nonprofits should have a basic understanding of the legal structures possible before entering into these collaborations.

Collaboration Hub

The Collaboration Hub serves as a home to vast resources related to collaboration in the social sector. This Hub includes valuable publications, questions and answers, links to videos and podcasts, blog posts, and a comprehensive, searchable collection of 650+ profiles of vetted collaborations submitted for the Collaboration Prize in 2009 and 2011.

The Collaborative Map

Infographic and additional resources from La Piana Consulting, the national management and consulting firm providing oversight over the Collaboration Prize process.