“If you want our money, you have to work together,” Buffalo’s largest foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, told three separate anchor institutions when they sought money to fund new buildings on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. That meant developing a single plan that brought people together around solutions to common problems, says BNMC president and CEO Matt Enstice. He provides two examples of the power of this strategy from Baton Rouge -- the Bridge Center for Hope, an initiative to secure funding to help people experiencing mental illness, and the Farm-to-Hospital program to get more local produce into area hospitals. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to getting everyone on the same page, he says, but empathy goes a long way. Once you understand why someone doesn’t want to work together, it’s easier to find a potential path to collaboration -- or agree there’s not an opportunity to partner now.

Read Full Story