Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together



Welcome to the e-learning lesson on Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together. Across the nation, organizations are discovering the many benefits of partnering to accomplish far more than what might be possible working alone. Although there may be added value in working with other organizations, the benefits of effective partnerships don’t occur overnight. Establishing successful partnerships takes time. It’s important for you to create the right framework from the start and review the structure and process of the partnership on an ongoing basis to measure its success or failure. At the end of this lesson, you will be able to identify key components of partnerships, recognize different types of partnerships, identify the steps for establishing partnerships, and recognize methods for managing partnerships.

Organizational partnerships can have many benefits.

As pressures on community-based organizations increase and the issues faced by our society become more complex, the idea of cross-organization partnerships can hold much promise. Through partnerships we can contribute our part and also reap the benefits of others’ efforts. We can accelerate learning and distribute skills and knowledge. Also, we can add depth and breadth to our community impact.

In this e-learning lesson you will learn about the typical components found in effective partnerships, the different forms that partnerships can take, the steps to establishing effective partnerships, and how to manage and bring closure to partnerships.

Partners combine their efforts to achieve shared goals.

Organizations seek partnerships to add value through combined efforts. Although organizations may have different structures and approaches, they can work together toward common purposes and achieve shared results.

A partnership is a give-and-take relationship that can strengthen organizations’ capacity for long-term cooperation and collaboration. To achieve the potential benefits of partnership, organizations must be prepared to build, sustain, and evaluate them in a thoughtful way.

CHAPTER 1: The Meaning of Partnership

A partnership can be defined as a collaborative relationship between organizations. The purpose of this relationship is to work toward shared goals through a division of labor that all parties agree on. Partnerships are complex vehicles for delivering practical solutions to societal and community issues. Studies of how partnerships operate indicate that organizations manage the complexity by adopting a long-term, flexible approach. During the course of their partnerships, organizations often evolve. They learn about effective management, build capacity, and gain valuable experiences. Therefore, a partnership can serve as a learning mechanism that teaches you to be better at what you do and enables you to achieve your organizational goals.

Most successful partnerships contain these key components.

If you’re considering developing a partnership, you should become familiar with what a true partnership entails. There are several key components inherent in most approaches to partnering. Examine your organization and your potential partner’s organization with these components in mind: