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How to establish a partnership

Use these steps as a guide to building a successful, rewarding partnership.

1. Partner Match

Consider your organization’s goals and partnership interests, and then choose a school or program that would make a good match.

  • Location.
  • Connections between your organization and a school/program (personal, employees, etc.).
  • Alignment between type of business and academic disciplines (science, fine arts, finance, culinary, engineering, etc.).

Other resources that can help:

2. Plan

Meet with your partner to brainstorm and draft a written partnership agreement.

  • Focus the partnership on enhancing student achievement and supporting safe, nurturing schools.
  • Identify specific activities and respective responsibilities.
  • Make sure the partnership is a good “fit” – built on common values and mutually beneficial goals.
  • Identify potential benefits that the partnership could offer both the organization and the school.

3. Resources

Allocate sufficient people, budget, and other resources to allow the partnership to succeed.

  • Identify a “champion” within the organization to coordinate partnership activities and communications.
  • Clearly define and document objectives and responsibilities.
  • Carve out time to make it happen – for communications, renewed commitment, enthusiasm, and so on.

4. Communication

Ongoing, two-way communication is the cornerstone of a successful partnership.

  • Add your partner to your organizational newsletter mailing list, and let them know about news and events in your organization.
  • Ask your partner about the good things that are happening because of the partnership! Share your excitement and satisfaction.

5. Evaluation And Evolution

A good partnership is a dynamic relationship – adaptable to changing needs and circumstances.

  • Arrange to meet at specific intervals (at least yearly) to review the effectiveness of the partnership and revise as needed.
  • Establish criteria for success that are easy to measure.
  • Allow for flexibility in revising the partnership to adapt to new or evolving circumstances and needs.
  • Be willing to discontinue the partnership if it isn’t fulfilling expectations or meeting objectives.