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It is important to note strategic partnerships with other organisations can be vital to the success of your organisation’s goals and initiatives. Building Strategic Partnerships, focuses on strategies for negotiating, building, and maintaining partnerships with other organisations that are key organisations in the community that can assist you in achieving your goals

Partnership and related terms such as collaboration, coalition, network, task group, work group, cooperation and others, are used to describe a wide variety of relationships and structures. For purposes of

This article, partnership refers to a group of organisations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. That goal could be as narrow as obtaining funding for a specific intervention, or as broad as trying to improve the overall quality of life for members of the community.

Likewise, the organizations involved might be drawn from a narrow area of interest, or might include representation from every segment of the community .A partnership is strategic when it provides your organisation with the means and methods for advancing your mission. Strategic partnerships can later develop into stakeholder groups that can leverage greater influence in reaching elected officials and policymakers. Civic leaders, policymakers and other key influencers tend to have priorities that organisations can leverage to underscore the urgency of improving programs and services to adolescents including:

  • Improving access to education to foster economic development and work skills;
  • Enhancing public safety by preventing crime and reducing risk behaviours; and
  • Encouraging civic engagement and service to a new generation.

 

Partnerships with other organisations have the potential to concentrate the organisations (along with the communities) focus on a particular problem, create alliances among organisations that might not normally work together, and keep the community's approach to issues consistent. Most importantly, partners can advocate for your organisation's goals while contributing their own contacts, skills, talents and assets, allowing your organization to broaden its impact while accessing new audiences.

Recognising the importance of partnerships is not difficult, but understanding how to build those partnerships is critical. Partnerships with other organisations take time and effort, but if managed well, they can help your organization achieve its goals more effectively and with fewer resources.

Remember, when forming partnerships your organisation should strive for quality, not quantity. Not all partnerships result in accrued benefits for your organisation or your clients. Partnerships should be formed strategically, based on the value the partnership brings to your organisation and your clients. Working with organisations that do not have a mission or values that complement your own does not typically bring added value to your organisation

There are a number of reasons why developing a partnership with other organizations might be beneficial. In general terms, partnerships can concentrate the community's focus on a particular problem, create alliances among those who might not normally work together, and keep the community's approach to issues consistent.

Some more specific reasons for forming a partnership might be:

To bring about more effective and efficient delivery of programs and eliminate any unnecessary duplication of effort. Gathering all the organizations involved in a particular issue can result in a more cohesive and comprehensive intervention. Rather than duplicating efforts, organizations can split up or coordinate responsibilities in ways that afford more participants access to programs and allow for a greater range of services.

To pool resources. Many of organizations together may have the resources to accomplish a task that none of them could have accomplished independently. In general, organisations form partnerships to do just that - accomplish together what they cannot do alone.

To increase communication among groups and break down stereotypes. Bringing together organisations from many sectors of the community can create alliances where there was little contact before. Working together toward common goals can help organizations break down barriers and misperceptions, and enable them to trust one another.

To build networks and friendships. Partnerships result in social benefits for staff, volunteers and clients in that people can form networks and friendships through involvement with the organisation.

To revitalise wilting energies of members of groups who are trying to do too much alone. A partnership can help to bolster efforts around an issue. For organisations who have worked too long in a vacuum, the addition of other hands to the task can be a tremendous source of new energy and hope.

To plan and launch community-wide initiatives on a variety of issues. In addition to addressing immediately pressing issues or promoting or providing services, partnerships can serve to unify efforts around long-term campaigns.

To develop and use political clout to gain services or other benefits for the community. A unified community partnership can advocate more effectively than a number of disparate organisation’s working alone. In addition, a wide-ranging partnership can bring to bear pressure from all sectors of the community, and wield a large amount of power.

 To create long-term, permanent social change. Real change usually takes place over a period of time through the process of individuals gaining trust, sharing ideas, and getting past their preconceptions in order to understand the real issues underlying community needs. A partnership, with its structure of cooperation among diverse groups and its problem-solving focus, can ease and accelerate the process of change in a community.

To obtain or provide services. It may take a partnership - either initially or over the long term – to design, obtain funding for, and/or run a needed intervention in the community.

 

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