How to Build and Sustain Strategic Partnerships 2010
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How to Build and Sustain Strategic Partnerships

How to Build and Sustain Strategic Partnerships
June
2010

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  • With strategic partnerships, you can work as a team to achieve your shared goals. And when key leaders and program staff have clear expectations from the start, strategic partnerships can increase an organization's capacity to do its work effectively. In this workshop, learn how to assess your collaborative opportunities and learn tactics to make strategic partnerships run well (including free online services that help you share and revise documents, schedule meetings and communicate with one another).
  • 08/02/10
  • 08/02/10 Collaboration: A partner relationship between entities seeking ways to effectively work together for mutual benefit and social good Definitions handout
  • Combine resources to offer a comprehensive approach Extend the reach and benefit of what you do Influence each other positively (e.g., program models, organizational strengths) Leverage funding Funders expect you to be proactive about partnerships Learn new skills/develop new knowledge BEFORE NEXT SLIDE: ASK: When you think about developing partnerships what is your biggest fear? Have them chat their answer To pool volunteers - coordinate, have a joint database
  • The imperative for collaboration stems from the RAPID changes generated by powerful external and internal forces. Political forces – “The Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations have all urged corporations and nonprofit organizations to assume a greater role in solving society’s problems.” Austin, James E., The Collaborative Challenge. Economic forces – Decrease in federal funding to NPOs and an increase in the number of nonprofits results in more nonprofits chasing increasingly limited federal economic resources. Social forces – The magnitude and complexity of our social and economic problems are growing, and these problems are now outstripping the institutional and economic capabilities of individual nonprofits and business organizations to deal with them.
  • 08/02/10 POLITICAL This shift of responsibilities is increasing the demands on the nonprofit and business sectors and pushing them toward collaboration Shift in responsibility from the federal government to local levels to address social needs; Shift in responsibility from the public to the private sector The past four administrations have each urged corporations and nonprofits to assume a greater role in solving society’s problems ECONOMIC Funding slashed from the federal government to many nonprofit organizations; Proliferation of nonprofits over the past 20 years More nonprofits competing for limited federal economic resources Nonprofit organizations are feeling the pressure from federal funding agencies as they attempt to rationalize federal funding procedures and demonstrate greater effectiveness in funding of nonprofit organizations MOREOVER, Vast numbers of NPOs feel severely under funded in proportion to their mission SOCIAL Magnitude and complexity of social and economic problems growing; These problems are outstripping the institutional and economic capabilities of individual nonprofit and business organizations to deal with them As these issues continue to grow collaboration has emerged as the new mandate INTERNAL Contribution to service provision; Pressure from funders to demonstrate effectiveness, distinctiveness; Pressure to increase revenue in order to deal with the magnitude and complexity of community need; Pressure to increase organizational capabilities in order to deal with the magnitude and complexity of community need; Nonprofit organizations view collaboration as a means of economizing on scarce resources and tapping new sources for assistance; Others?
  • 08/02/10 A huge distinguishing factor and requirement/preference for federal funding is collaboration and strategic partnership Some funding agencies are themselves partnering to award funds, and recognize the value and efficacy of strategic alliances Leverage resources Eliminate duplication Broaden impact Demonstrate familiarity with the landscape Community response to community issue
  • Partnerships infused within new grant programs In tandem with this increased focus on collaboration, we anticipate seeing increased emphasis on community partnerships in federal grant opportunities. ECONOMY ARRA FUNDING For example, the Investing in Innovation (I3) program out of the Dept. of Education, is designed to engage community organizations with schools and districts to further education reform. As we look to federal funding opportunities, putting effective and strategic partnerships in place will be key.
  • 08/02/10 Connection with purpose and people Clarity of purpose Congruency of mission, strategy, and values Creation of value Communication between partners Continual learning Commitment to the partnership Common goals/shared vision Communication methods established Members value one another Each group feels ownership The group leader delegates Efficient, effective meetings Decision-making is clear Shared leadership Trust Accountability
  • Cost savings - Combine resources to offer a comprehensive approach. Intended to eliminate duplicative costs and excessive capacity through shared facilities, services, or activities. Resources include financial, staff, facility, equipment. goodwill, and leadership. Example: The Children’s Trust Fund and the United Way of South Carolina combined boards, staff, and offices to economize on facilities cost, payroll, and volunteer time to magnify the impact of their similar operations. Feel free to us your own examples EXAMPLE: early childhood programs on the Western Slope forming a co-op to blend back-office functions and group-purchase supplies. Economies of scale and scope - Extend similar organizations’ markets, client bases, or purchased inputs Diversity – Different points of view. Unique ability of those in the room Increased synergy - Assembles sufficient collective confidence, knowledge, financial resources, or political power to enable them to be more effective
  • 08/02/10 Relationships of mission, needs, capabilities and overlapping values. Values exchange, cultural competence Know what you really want out of the relationship Trust Values Dating Marriage Making the Love Connection A colleague will be likely to consider your request for their involvement in a project if you demonstrate to him or her how the project will enhance the mission of his/her organization.
  • Give examples - might talk about partnerships of diverse kinds of organizations/cross-sector partnerships Start with who you know Identify areas of mutual interest Consider experience and expertise that can add to what you have Look at organizational culture Remember that it’s the people you’ll be working with, not the organizations If you can, date first! DISTRIBUTE HANDOUT: checklist of potential partners - customized per client field of work
  • Look at what you’re trying to accomplish Brainstorm and research possible partners Select those with successful track records and good reputations ASK: What partnerships do you wish you had?
  • On a federal grant, you’re committing to your partners for multiple years and are dependent upon them to fulfill their respective roles on the grant. You need to do your homework! We recommend that you investigate both the “business” - the nonprofit - and the people involved. Not only should you do your legal due diligence (have they filed their 990s, are they registered with the secretary of state, are they in compliance with their bylaws, etc.), but you should ask around about them, too. You’ll find more information out through a Google search of your potential partner organization and/or its key stakeholders than you are likely to find from a formal explorations of their legal compliance.
  • 08/02/10 Strategic questions: With whom should we partner? When should we partner? How should we partner? The Collaboration value Construct Will it help us achieve our organization and/or program goals? Are there successful models for the program we want to implement? 2. What value does the partner bring? What resources of each partner are of value to the other? What specific benefits will accrue to each partner from the collaboration? Do benefits outweigh costs and risks? What new resources, capabilities, and benefits can be created by the collaboration? Are resource and capability transfer two-way? Are benefits equitably balanced between the partners? Has the value exchange and creation depreciated? If so, to what extent?
  • RIGHT PARTNERS: Contact those on your list to discuss potential interest Do not waste your time developing elaborate plans for partnerships before discussing the plans with your proposed partners. Of course, you’ll need an initial conversation - who would make a good partner, why, what concerns do people have - at an internal level, but a soon as you can, include the potential partner, this leads to a greater degree of transparency SEE HANDOUT FROM THE START: Involve partners from the beginning; Contact those on your list and discuss potential interest; Talk with the leader one-on-one If he/she is interested, then invite a him/her and key staff to the initial meeting Start with the results you want to achieve—not the limited resources you have in hand; Take into account the uncertainty that surrounds your venture Consider scale of the project; Define the capabilities required for success—make a list; Who are the stakeholders? Who are the potential collaborators? SHARE CONTROL: Clarify unifying goal(s), Understand each group’s self-interest, Ensure every voice is heard from the beginning, Give AND take, Agree to disagree on noncrucial issues AGREE ON HOW TO MAKE DECISIONS: Discuss and decide together how decisions will be made, Send same representatives to meetings, Let everyone know up front that there will be a formal agreement in writing Often people talk about consensus decision making. Is that REALLY what you mean? Total alignment of everyone all the time? Think this through. MOUs A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a document signed by the leader of each collaborating agency that outlines the relationship to carry out a body of work together. List the parties involved; terms., scope and purpose, Detail roles and responsibilities, Clarify how disputes and terminations will be managed, Explain how notices will be handled
  • PIECE OF THE PIE: Identify partners’ strengths and resources, Design projects/initiatives so that individual partners each have a meaningful role, If money is involved, make sure it is shared Unless this is an acquisition, the goal should be shared resources, shared “glory” etc. SHARE THE WORK: Develop a work plan based on grant deadline or program implementation deadline; Assign responsibilities to each partner for gathering information, securing letters of commitment; Collect assignments in group meeting; Identify partners’ strengths and resources; Design projects/initiatives so that individual partners each have a meaningful role; If money is involved, make sure the $$ is shared (and not just divided!); Agree on how the partnership will move forward; Set periodic planning meetings for the year; Give key players the partnership agreement; Ask all key players to keep a project notebook Develop a work plan Assign responsibilities to each partner for gathering information, securing letters of commitment Collect assignments in group meetings GOLDEN RULE: Do unto others…; Be respectful of each partner’s contributions; Share the credit Some of you know that JVA’s version of the Golden Rule for fundraising is “she who has the gold makes the rules” Today, we’re talking about the ACTUAL Golden Rule - do unto others… Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, be respectful of each other. If a member of the team isn’t acting respectfully, recognize that it’s probably due to fear and talk with them about their behavior. NURTURE, CULTIVATE: Foster the partnership Identify a leader or facilitator to keep process and group organized Meet in person (until there is agreement among participants on project goals and objectives and ongoing if necessary) Revise roles, responsibilities and expectations of partners when necessary (e.g., signed Memorandum of Agreement) Follow-through; Communicate often; Meet regularly Evaluate effectiveness of project and partnership; use feedback to improve both Praise each others’ efforts; celebrate success! PARTNER GUIDELINES: Clarify unifying goal(s); Understand each group’s self interest; Ensure every voice is heard from the beginning; Give and take Agree to disagree on non-crucial issues; Structure decision-making; Send same representatives to regular meetings ; Distribute credit fairly HOW MOVE FORWARD: Meet until there is agreement among participants on project goals and objectives; Identify a leader or facilitator to keep process and group organized Outline in detail the roles, responsibilities and expectations of participants (e.g., signed Memorandum of Agreement); Lost momentum is one of the easiest ways to stall partnership or merger projects. Set realistic, yet ambitous timelines to keep people engaged and allow you to reach resolution
  • At JVA, we believe in sharing the solutions-based approach to any work that you do. That being said, we would not be doing our job if we didn’t talk briefly about the challenges of effective partnering and how to tackle this thing called partnerships, strategic alliances or mergers. Too little time to foster healthy communication Too little time to foster healthy relationships Ego, power and control Uncommon goals Viewing others as competition Hoarding/sharing credit Agreeing completely is often difficult Worrying about quality/follow-through of others Clashing of personalities/egos Tarnishing reputation by association Funder pressure Other barriers: Too many agenda items at each meeting Issues of leveraging and being leveraged Leading and following
  • PBWorks Wiki spaces See youtube skit JVA uses Collaboration Room offered through our Web site provider Fuel Team Used PBWorks for a grantwriting team Others?
  • 08/02/10 Maintain mutual commitment Focus on building relationships and trust Develop cultural competence Involve top leaders in the partnering organizations to set the stage Define the boundaries of collaboration while respecting the integrity of the independent organizations
  • 08/02/10 Q&A FOR REMAINING TIME; DECIDE IN ADVANCE WITH AVE WHETHER TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS ELECTRONICALLY OR TO OPEN LINE. Indicate when you will take the last question & transition to wrap-up.

How to Build and Sustain Strategic Partnerships 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • 1.
    • How to Build and Sustain
    • Strategic Partnerships
  • 2. Session Objectives
    • Learn to assess collaborative opportunities
    • Learn tactics to make strategic partnerships run well
    • Understand how strategic partnerships can enhance organizational capacity and lead to better client outcomes
  • 3. Know what you want
  • 4. Why build partnerships?
  • 5. The Collaboration Imperative
  • 6. Internal and External Forces
  • 7. Why partnerships matter
  • 8. Why they especially matter now
  • 9. So, what makes a good partnership?
  • 10. Benefits of Partnering
    • Cost savings
    • Economies of scale and scope
    • Extends the reach/benefit
    • of your work
    • Positive influences
    • Leverages funding
    • Learn/develop new
    • skills, knowledge
    • Increase diversity
    • Increase synergy
  • 11. So, how do you build them ?
  • 12. Find the right partners
  • 13. If you don’t know someone…
  • 14. If you think you know someone…
    • Do your due diligence
    • Do it again
    • Maybe one more time
  • 15. The partnership screen: See it through.
  • 16. Steps to making strategic partnerships work
    • Find the right partners
    • Involve partners from the start
    • Share control
    • Agree on how to make decisions
    • MOUs
  • 17. Give everyone a piece of the pie
  • 18. Challenges to effective partnering
  • 19. Online Tools that support partnerships
    • PBWORKS
  • 20. Success and Sustainability
  • 21. Don’t forget to have fun!