One thing that’s difficult for many youth work organizations and faith-based organizations is the formation of partnerships (sometimes also called coalitions).
Each organization has its own agenda, its own goals, its own mission and vision and its own way of working. And, just like when working in a team in your own organizations, sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself than to trust someone else to get it done right.
Unfortunately, youth work organizations and programs that aren’t able to partner with others are missing out on some serious benefits:
- Venues – You’re more likely to get the use of a venue or transport for little or no cost to you. Resources are always in short supply – couldn’t your youth work use extra support from other organizations?
- Funding – You’re more likely to get more funding. Partnerships are becoming very popular and many statutory/public sector agencies need to be seen to be in partnership with non-profits for funding. Many grants also want to see you collaborating with other agencies before they’ll sign off on funding.
- Program Support – You are more likely to get the use of highly trained staff and quality curriculums at little or no cost to you. Many statutory/public sector agencies have curriculums they purchased and staff they’ve trained that have, built-in as part of their role, the obligation to support non-profits and offer programs to the private/charitable sector.
So inexpensive venues, more funding and better program support are the pluses for partnerships. They do take some coordination, networking and possibly the development of a partnership agreement. However, once you’ve developed your networks and created a standard partnership document, it’s easy to see the long term benefits for creating partnerships with other agencies.
Question: Have you worked in partnership with another agency – what were the benefits or the pitfalls? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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