Facing the challenges of survival and development, small nonprofit organizations often look for opportunities collaborating with business enterprises to acquire resources and to enhance organizational competencies. Nonetheless, nonprofit organizations and business enterprises are quite different in their nature, mission, and goals. Hence, the main concern is to develop cooperation between nonprofits and business enterprises that can align the goals and needs of the two parties engaging into cooperation. This research explores this concern.
The purpose of this research is to identify key factors of inter-organizational cooperation between small non-profit organizations and business enterprises. First, related literature is reviewed as a basis for the development of research framework. Second, through the analysis of a small nonprofit organization with a number of inter-organizational collaboration initiatives, the research identified the key factors associating with the success of those cooperative initiatives.
It is found that the social network of the board members, the aggressiveness to outreach businesses in related industries, and the use of new media or fund-raising channels for publicity are the three main factors for nonprofits to increase the opportunity to attract businesses’ interest in collaboration. Successful cooperation relies on the goal alignment and synergy creation of the parties engaging in the cooperating project. Mutual trust is essential, and trust can be nurtured by shared core values and the practices of fairness and reciprocity. As the business enterprise and the nonprofits are confident in each other in the abilities and capacities for cooperation, the cooperating relationship will be strengthened. This research also found that the use of formal contract may serve as a basis of the expressed expectations for a specific cooperation project. This is especially useful for clarification and protection from unintended misunderstanding or disputes.
Keywords：small non-profit organization, cross-organizational cooperation, key factors.
「雙圓理論」 iCESD 一個根基於循環經濟的創新社會設計