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The Power Of Partnership

Updated: Jun 6



In the not-for-profit sector, collaboration is the key to success. Without it, achieving impact on a meaningful scale becomes a real challenge. The organisations that we see are the most innovative and impactful are the ones that collaborate with other organisations with a similar mission, and they work together to solve problems and go after opportunities. These organisations realise they are more likely to succeed together, than they are alone.


A while back, Tracey and I spoke with Vicki Miller of the Shake It Up Australia Foundation. Vicki shared how she has embraced a collaborative approach, recognising that partnership and resource-sharing are fundamental to driving real change in the not-for-profit landscape. Here are some of my partnership initiative takeaways from that chat, let's go!


Building Bridges between Organisations


In the context of nurturing connections between organisations, the story of Shake It Up founder Clyde Campbell serves as a compelling example. Faced with the challenge of insufficient funding for Parkinson's in Australia, Clyde embarked on a mission to form strategic partnerships to fill the gap. Over a span of 12 months, he built a relationship with the Michael J. Fox Foundation in the US and as a result, over $27 million has been jointly invested in Australian Parkinson's research projects. The partnership approach unlocked new opportunities, with each organisation amplifying the other's efforts and resources.


Pulling Power through Partnership


Harnessing the strength of collaborative efforts, Shake It Up exemplifies the transformative potential of partnerships. With this ambitious project, they are co-funding the Australian Parkinson's Genetic Study with MJFF. In the past, the big pharmaceutical companies weren’t focusing their research in Australia as they didn’t have enough people on lists that are willing to participate in trials. Realising this was a barrier, the team at Shake It Up and their partners collated their own lists via their partnerships. The result was over 90% of people approached to join the trial database consented to future clinical trials and this remarkable level of engagement became a huge drawcard for streamlined recruitment into pharmaceutical research, enhancing Australia's appeal for international drug trials.


Funding the Future


To ensure funds are available in advance to support long-term research projects and new opportunities, Parkinson’s organisations across the globe are collaborating by pooling their funds for maximum global impact. Each year they review applications for initiatives across the partner organisations, and the top initiatives are chosen that are going to make the biggest difference to ending Parkinson’s. This approach ensures that the funding is backing the best initiatives rather than lots of small initiatives, and duplication happening across the many organisations. Ensuring a better return on investment.



Through their commitment to partnerships, Shake It Up’s collaboration and dedication intersect, to pave the way for transformative breakthroughs in the fight against this debilitating disease. By taking a collaborative approach they are able to achieve more than is possible working on their own.


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