The Amazing Result When Nonprofit Organizations Work Together – A Case Study in Cambodia
March 29, 2021

It all began with a workshop on Leadership. That was back in 2017 — when leaders from about 25 different NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) – all focused on the education and wellbeing of children and women – assembled at a Siem Reap hotel for that training session. It was a good session, well received. No surprises since we have successfully conducted sessions like this one for many NGOs scattered throughout Southeast Asia.

But then what we heard in the closing circle did surprise us. Over and over again, in one way or another, these leaders said how valuable it was for them to have a place to share their experiences and current challenges with peers. Thus, the CLLC (Cambodian Leadership Learning Community) was born.
Previously, each of these organizations had been addressing the same (or similar) needs, all centering around education in one form or another. Now, instead of “going it alone” ever day, they have created a peer network where they can share experiences and learn from one another. Today, the CLLC comprises about 35 organizations and their key leadership people. They join together for workshops and seminars. They freely share information. They learn from each other. They learn how to become more sustainable. They collaborate on funding opportunities. They do business with each other to support their social enterprises. The governing value: “We all get better, smarter faster when we work together and share information”.

During this challenging time of COVID, including our inability to travel to Cambodia, we continue to meet regularly with the CLLC group and carry on with our coaching and support. The group assembles (via Zoom, of course) on the first Friday morning (their time) of each month to share recent developments and present current needs. During the April 2021 meeting our Board President, Peter Scontrino  gave an in depth presentation on Coping and Stress Management During the Time of COVID. That was very well received by the group with lots of questions and discussion following.

The benefit of the CLLC is vividly evident as these outstanding NGOs continue serving their constituents and doing so in a way that enhances impact and long-term sustainability for themselves, and for those they serve.

That’s the power of collaboration – and, most likely, the best is yet to come.