NLN19: Instigating Successful Collaborations with Bob Lane

Bob Lane is our guest for this episode of the Nonprofit Leaders Network Podcast and he sharedBob Lane about collaborations and partnerships.

Bob has served as the Executive Director of The New Albany (Indiana) Housing Authority (NAHA) since 2001. He has degrees in Business Administration and Education, as well as holding National Public Housing Management Certifications from NAHRO and Nan McKay and the Rutgers University Executive Training Certification from PHADA.

NAHA was established on March 30, 1937 and today has 1082 Public Housing Units and 408 Section 8 Units. Awards include the 2013 National NMA Excellence in Housing Award and 2014 NAHRO National Awards of Merit for innovative programming and partnerships. NAHA continues to be a HUD National “High Performer” in Public Housing and Section 8 Programs and is proud as assisting residents to become home owners.

Here are just a few highlights of the conversation:

The Many Benefits of Collaborating

Collaboration provides many services your organization cannot provide. While NAHA’s particular role is keeping a roof over someone’s head and their family, their collaborating agencies provide wrap-around services that help their residents succeed. For many residents, their wages are not very high and they need a lot of services. Collaborative partners provide help through workshops, paying utilities for residents and providing food and clothing. One of their collaborating agencies has a teacher on-site to help residents earn their GED. They recognize that education and skills are valuable ways to help people out of poverty.

Ask for Commitment from Potential Partners

For Bob commitment, or ‘skin in the game,’ can be things like money, resources (such as space), time, access to training, etc.  They keep their partners well-informed of the rules and about what’s going on. Through the programs of their committed partners, they have been able to provide residents with training and skills to get better jobs to help them be in a position down the road to purchase their own home. Their partners work closely with residents to try and help them on their journey to self-sufficiency.

Avoid Partners Who Just Want to Smell Good

Bob shared that there are some potential partners who want to look good, smell good and yet do nothing. They try to sort these out very quickly by discerning how engaged they are in the partnership. If not, they get out of it as quickly as possible.

Success through Collaborations

Bob says if you’re trying to accomplish your goals, you can be 10 times more successful if you collaborate. We have certain expertise while other agencies have expertise in other areas and collaboration tries to bring that together to provide more efficient ways to serve.

Click here to view the transcript.

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