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Although organizations may have very different missions and approaches, they can often reap great benefits by working together towards a shared vision. When considering a partnership, organizations must ask, “Can we achieve more or better results through collaboration?” By having leadership and member commitment, very clear goals and working arrangements, and respect for organizational differences, partnerships can broaden community impact while also building the capacity of participating organizations. Thank you for taking the time to learn about Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together.

Preparation and sustained effort allow partnerships to evolve.

Deciding on and developing a successful partnership involves a great deal of thought, planning, and coordinated effort. In the beginning, it’s important to consult with all relevant stakeholders to establish a clear need for the partnership. If setting up a partnership makes sense, determine what type of partnership is needed and ensure that there’s commitment from the senior management of all partner organizations. Identify the members’ shared vision and goals and then develop a document that outlines the terms of the partnership. Set up mechanisms for maintaining and monitoring the partnership as it evolves. Recognize that there will be successes as well as challenges, and that the partnership will have its own life cycle.

Here are some additional resources on creating and maintaining partnerships.

  • Community Partnerships: A Sustainable Resource for Nongovernmental Organizations, by Mark Tranel and Kay Gasen.

    This is an article produced by the Public Policy Research Center of the University of Misssouri on the emergence and benefits of community partnerships.

  • Federal-Community Partnerships, National Civic League.

    This site describes a National Civic League Federal-Community Partnerships program (FCP) and its work on a juvenile delinquency prevention initiative.

  • Center for Community Partnerships, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

    This is the website of the Center for Community Partnerships, an organization that connects the resources of the University of Wisconsin with the resources of communities of southeastern Wisconsin.

  • Adams Elementary School project signals Forest Park Southeast's rebirth, Washington University.

    This is a short article describing collaboration between a school district, medical center, and local residents to revitalize the community.