As connectors of people and organizations, you may have access to a wide variety of community partners. By leveraging these relationships – on both a formal and informal basis – you can gain support for new initiatives that expand outreached for increased and more effective engagement. Partnerships also allow organizations with limited resources to maximize impact from existing opportunities.
As you consider potential partners that could help attract and engage people in your community, think about their expectations and motivations for working with you and what outcomes both parties desire. Here are some steps to start a partnership with an organization:
Community Needs Assessment: In examine efforts to reach out to people in your community, examine the current conditions in your community. Look for potential synergies and complementary goals.
Identify Potential Partners: Look for both natural and unlikely partners – but be aware of and account for cultural differences between the potential partners. Acknowledge organizational cultures, which can differ greatly in a successful partnership.
Develop Joint Goals: Critical to the partnership’s success is a common vision. Be sure to identify each partner’s desired outcomes. Joint goals must be both shared and measurable.
Agree on Roles, Tasks and Responsibilities: Mutual planning for performance is key to accountability. Each partner’s roles, resources, responsibilities and tasks must be clear and communicated. Understand the strengths and values each partner brings.
Oversee the Work: Document the successes of your partnership – not only your own portion, but also that of your partners. Monitor the performance of each aspect of the partnership, communicate the results and share your learnings.
Do you utilize partnerships? What tips and suggestions would you add? Let us know in the comments!