Our view: Cooperation off to good start

Moffat County businesses and individuals are inundated with requests to purchase scented candles, paper Easter eggs, candy bars, flowering planters and any number of other items sold as fund-raisers for non-profit organizations, schools -- even businesses -- throughout the county.

There is little doubt that Moffat County is an incredibly generous community with very deep pockets when it comes to meeting the humanitarian needs of our friends and neighbors. But the increase in the amount of local fund-raising dollars being sought by nonprofit agencies begs the question, "When is enough, enough?" And worse, when enough is finally enough, what will that mean for our community and the agencies that depend upon local support to provide services?

More than 40 representatives from youth service groups, health-care organizations, adult service organizations and other nonprofits gathered Monday to form collaborative teams with the goal of entering a dialogue about how local agencies can work together to meet their collective needs. This collaboration is absolutely critical to sustain the level and quality of services that currently are provided in our community and to make room for new services that have a niche to fill. What is more critical is that those involved in this process are diligent about following this concept through. Like many great ideas in our community, this too will fall by the wayside if group organizers aren't willing to see it through. The process won't be easy, but the outcome could be partnerships to consolidate dollars resulting in more and better services for community members and a bigger piece of the pie for nonprofits.

At Monday's meeting, one reason agencies gave for currently not collaborating included a lack of trust. The bottom line is that people need to put personal differences aside and focus on the business of doing what they were created to do. If they don't, they may all find themselves without local support.

It's time for this community to quit spending the same time and energy covering the same ground for the same less-than-adequate piece of the pie.

We believe that agencies that collaborate will win in the long run -- everyone will be campaigning for the same dollars and reaping the benefits of hundreds of volunteers pitching their cause as opposed to doing it themselves at an agency yard sale that nets $200.

And, our community will be the big winner. Imagine being able to ask one business to contribute $500 to an overall campaign this year as opposed to writing 14 $20 checks as the revolving door keeps turning.

If we have people in our community who desperately need the resources that we can offer, then why are we fighting about which agency gets the money to provide those services?

We encourage every non-profit organization to be open -- proactive even -- about collaborative discussions.

After all, an awful lot gets accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.

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