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One Plus One Equals Ten: The Power of Collaboration

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”

-Aristotle

When we welcome a new team member to the Murdock Trust, we ask them to complete a workstyle inventory that shares insights into their strengths and work preferences. There are no wrong answers to this survey, but the information is valuable. When we can identify individual strengths and weaknesses, we can better divide work across each of our teams for greater impact. For example, if one team is comprised entirely of individuals who like to focus on the big picture but are not strong at analyzing complex data, we may develop gaps in our work. However, if we put someone who easily understands and dissects data with someone who is a strong writer, we can create engaging and relevant tools that speak to our mission and our work. Marrying strengths with strengths really becomes a case of one plus one equaling ten.

This is also the reality in the nonprofit sector. Over the years, we have championed the practice of innovative generosity and unique collaborations – finding opportunities to pair organizations that may be in different sectors with entrepreneurs and businesses to create a coalition that can address a challenge from all sides.

One example we have seen recently of this type of collaboration is in the new Oregon Impact Fund from the Oregon Community Foundation. The fund, established through gifts from 23 donors (including the Murdock Trust) and a match by OCF, is designed to invest in organizations around the state that have a quantifiable impact on job creation and retention in underserved communities, affordable housing, education, access to health care and natural resource management.

We saw another example of the power of this type of collaboration in conversations driven by PATH, the leader in global health innovation. At a recent conference, experts discussed the value of the strategic alliances that exist in the Northwest to address global health challenges. Portland and Seattle in particular are home to global health expertise, deep technical expertise and enlightened philanthropic funders. These resources and tools can converge to meet major global health challenges through digital innovations.

Moses Lee, one of the Murdock Trust’s program directors, offered examples on our blog of how strategic partnerships are helping accelerate scientific research at universities across the Pacific Northwest. With a collaboration of investments and teamwork, these professors are driving groundbreaking discoveries that have far reaching implications for all of us.

Collaboration and strategic partnerships will continue to be a key element in ensuring our communities can grow and thrive for generations to come. We are honored to collaborate with countless partners and organizations across the Pacific Northwest in a variety of sectors to help identify solutions that can improve the quality of life for our community.