Leveraging Partnerships to Increase your Library's Impact


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This presentation offers libraries some basic strategies for establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships in order to increase impact and community value.

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  • Increases: program effectiveness, program relevance, political leverage, visibility, reputation, organizational capacity, revenue streams
    Come together to solve a problem
  • Other possibilities: museums
    Businesses and nonprofits however, have different cultures, organizational capacities, motivations, and purposes. Nonprofits are driven by their social missions to generate positive community returns. Businesses are driven by the need to generate profits and increase value for shareholders.
    identify linkages between business priorities, community need, and project priorities.
    Need to decide whether the partnership is a good fit for both parties
  • Trust, respect, flexibility
  • Sign an MOU
  • Leveraging Partnerships to Increase your Library's Impact

    1. 1. October 22, 2013 Presented by: Beth Yoke, YALSA Executive Director byoke@ala.org @yalsa_director LEVERAGING PARTNERSHIPS TO INCREASE IMPACT ACT Now:
    2. 2. Overview •Why partner? •What is a partnership? •Steps to success •Resources •Info Sharing www.rexblog.com
    3. 3. Why seek partnerships?
    4. 4. What is a partnership? used in a broad way “partnerships” describes relationships between people, organizations, agencies & communities that work together and share interests
    5. 5. PARTNERSHIPS steps to success
    6. 6. Determine Needs Review your library’s & your department’s strategic plan and seek feedback from your Teen Advisory Group Develop a list of goals or needs and think about what a partner could contribute to help you address them successfully
    7. 7. Inventory Assets •meeting & display spaces •a newsletter, website & social media presence •highly trained staff •direct access to community members •a network of existing community groups, partners, supporters & volunteers •the capacity to implement programs •a wealth of in-depth, quality information, tools & resources •a focus on serving the entire community •volunteer opportunities •good PR/reputation enhancement •donation/sponsorship opportunities
    8. 8. External: •Youth & after school groups •Businesses & business focused groups •Charitable organizations •Workforce development •At-risk youth •STEM •Immigrant advocacy •Community development •Schools •Government agencies Internal: •Friends of the Library •Other departments Identify & Vet Potential Partners
    9. 9. Build & Maintain Relationships Can be time-consuming initially Communication & people skills are critical Include partners in the work of the library Build good communication channels Find ways to make the partner look good Continue to have conversations about their needs & priorities Develop an understanding of their processes
    10. 10. Co-Develop a Program  Use each other’s goals to jointly develop a program that meets both parties’ needs  Clearly identify who is responsible for what  Set a reasonable timeline  Check-in often to ensure forward progress  Design an evaluation component
    11. 11. Implement Program  Utilize a marketing plan to get the word out  Communicate often  Make adjustments as needed  Collect and share successes
    12. 12. Evaluate  How did the partnership impact your teens? What is better for them now?  Measure the success of your joint effort and to what degree it met the needs/goals you originally developed  Is there any potential to grow or expand the partnership?  Also take into consideration practical things, like whether or not their staff are easy to work with
    13. 13. Adjust or Move on  Work with the partner to make any needed refinements or improvements  If you’ve outgrown the partnership for any reason, be up front and move on  It’s never personal—focus on your library’s and department’s strategic plan and goals  Keep the door open for future partnering
    14. 14. Further exploration Building Strong Partnerships with Businesses, http://ow.ly/pNMU0 (.pdf) “Corporate Partnerships for Non-profits: a Match Made in Heaven?” http://ow.ly/pNSvj (.pdf) “It Takes a Neighborhood: Purpose Built Communities and Neighborhood Transformation” http://ow.ly/pHAtY “Public Library Partnerships which add value to the Community: the Hamilton Public Library Experience” http://ow.ly/pHzRJ
    15. 15. Information Sharing  What haven’t we covered?  What would you like to know in more detail?  What successes, challenges or resources do you want to share?  What’s one thing you’ve learned you can use at your library?
    16. 16. Thank you! Beth Yoke YALSA www.ala.org/yalsa byoke@ala.org 312.280.4391 @yalsa_director