Policy and Resources

This Partnership Toolkit provides informational resources to guide the development and growth of your partnership program.

Policy and Legislation

Director's Orders and Reference Manuals

In addition to Director's Order #21: Donations and Philanthropic Partnerships and its Reference Manual, there are several other policies that apply to partnership work:

  • Director's Order #32: Cooperating Associations provides guidance to National Park Service managers and staff who work in partnership with Cooperating Associations and helps define the roles of the two organizations in order to strengthen mission alignment and clarify the responsibilities of each organization. Please Use the Reference Manual, Director's Orders #32 in tandem with this Director's Order.
  • Director's Order #7: Volunteers in Parks provides direction to National Park Service personnel who are responsible for, and/or involved in, implementing a volunteer program. A Reference Manual is currently being completed. Please refer back to this page for updates.
  • Director's Order #45: National Trails System outlines the policies and procedures for national scenic and historic trails and the National Park Service responsibilities in processing nominations and offering program leadership for national recreation trails. The associated Reference Manual #45 documents several decades of experience in administering and managing components of the National Trails System.
  • Director's Order #46: Wild and Scenic Rivers provides the policy guidance necessary for accountability, consistency, and continuity in implementation of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and addresses management responsibilities for wild and scenic rivers. The associated Reference Manual #46 address issues that the National Park Service frequently encounters as part of our administrative and management responsibilities for wild and scenic rivers (WSRs).

Management Policies

National Park Service Management Policies 2006: The Guide to Managing the National Park Service focuses on the management of the national park system.

For excerpts related to partnerships, please visit.


  • H.R. 3979: For the Donor Acknowledgement Statute (Sec. 3054 Pub L 113-291) in H.R. 3979, scroll to page 6.
  • The Commemorative Works Act (40 USC 8901-8909) has special requirements for donor recognition at national parks in the District of Columbia and its environs.

Informational Resources


Last updated: July 26, 2021