Recently I was interviewing high level executives for a client and the person starting talking about chambers of commerce within the region and he used the term “coopertition” to describe the ideal relationship between them. I loved the term and looked it up. With it I found the term “gracious professionalism”.  Both words are actually trademarked by an organization named FIRST that conducts robotics competitions.

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

They use the terms to promote a competitive environment while discouraging negative behavior. It is about everyone winning and sharing resources for the greater good of accomplishing something for the community. These are important concepts for non-profits who are often competing for funds and in particular important for civic and economic development  organizations who have the same outcomes as their goal.