depends upon the stage of the project. If it is at the beginning,
brainstorm a list of every potential group, government agency, and
business that may have a potential interest in the community or
resource project. Do not limit the list to only those who have similar
missions and goals; the most creative and fruitful partnerships
may bring together less obvious parties or even longstanding "enemies."
If it is at
the end of a project, use the work generated when formulating an
Action Agenda, which is an annotated list of proposed outcomes .
Each action identifies what needs to be done, who is going to do
it, how it will be done, and when it will be done. Those identified
under "Who" are potential partners.
meetings with potential partners to provide background information
on the project, work plans, schedules, etc. Clearly present both
what you hope they can contribute and how that partner stands to
gain. Do not give up too quickly if a potential partner does not
respond. Some may need more time to think it over or seek approval
from others in their office, or they may want to see if the project
is going to succeed. Continue to go back and re-invite those who
at first declined. Always be prepared to restate your case: what
the goals are and what the mutual benefits will be.
roles and responsibilities
and formality of a partnership can vary widely. Whether it is simple
or complex, it benefits everyone if an agreement is reached beforehand
about each entityís role and responsibilities. Document in writing
the purpose of the partnership and the roles and tasks of the various
partners, the duration of the partnership, and provisions for making
changes to the agreement including adding or releasing partners
or dissolving the partnership. Negotiate any points of contention
so that there is consensus.
Prepare a written
document detailing the partnership in a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) or a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Include a formal coversheet
that summarizes the agreement and includes signatures for each partnerís
president, director, or chief executive officer.
4. Host a
press, partnersí staff and members, and key stakeholders to witness
the signing of the MOU or MOA. Ask politicians and each of the signers
to deliver short speeches; this is a great opportunity for them
to publicly show their support. Ideally, hold the ceremony at the
resource, such as on a riverbank or at a park. Take plenty of photographs
and videotape the speakers for future outreach materials and publications.