Determine Collaboration

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Deciding the scope will highlight the choices available to you for conducting your community assessment. You can decide to “go solo” and carry the entire responsibility for completing all of the community assessment activities or you can work with community partners as a collaborative project to complete the assessment. Potential community partners include corporations, nonprofit organizations, local community organizations, foundations who provide grants to your community, universities, and government entities.

There are many benefits to collaborating.

One of the most important factors to consider is the level of resources you have to conduct a community assessment.  Examine the time, effort, and human resources that are available from your various stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, consultants, and board members. Establishing collaborations will increase the resources available to conduct a quality and useful assessment.

Benefits of collaboration:

  • Engages more community members in the assessment planning and implementation
  • Increases access to more data sources to answer the key questions
  • More resources are available to conduct the assessment and cover expenses
  • Establishes relationships that will be important for leading actions identified in the community assessment findings

Sign agreements with collaborative partners.

If you decide to work collaboratively with partners to complete a community needs assessment, consider using a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the involved parties to ensure that each organization fully understands and commits to the efforts involved. An MOU outlines key responsibilities of the involved organizations. Click the icon to the right to download a sample MOU. Every MOU should include the names of the participating organization and the organization’s representative, what tasks or actions each party agrees to take, what resources each party agrees to contribute, and the deadlines or timelines associated with the partnership.

Click to open interactivity MOU


Use a memorandum of understanding for defining your relationship with a partner organization.

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