Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How Can I Develop Community Partnerships?

No one entity can fully support the needs of its community. It is essential that businesses form partnerships with families, schools, faith-based organizations, government agencies, other businesses, non-profit organications and other community groups to work together to help grow the community. This is called a community partnership.

Look around in your community to see if partnerships already exist. Consider whether you should join with them or build something new. If you’re forming a new community partnership, this section will help you get started.

Consider the groups and individuals who should be members of your community partnership. It should include members who represent the diverse areas that help your business:
Local teens and families
Community organizations
Faith-based organizations
Health care providers (includes physical and mental health care as well as substance abuse treatment)
Public health departments
Law enforcement agencies
Juvenile justice system
Human services agencies
Cooperative Extension offices
Parks and recreation departments
The media
Elected or appointed officials
Other individuals involved in defining community policies

Members of your partnership should also represent the different racial, ethnic, and cultural characteristics of your community. These cultural perspectives will help shape the decisions that are made and ensure the initiative’s success with the whole community.

The following questions can help you determine who you should build a community partnership with:
List 5-10 agencies that you might be interested in working with?

Within each of the above agencies, list 1-3 ideas that you would like to present to each agency?

For each agency, how would what you are offering help their organizations?

What is the next step you will take with each of these agencies:

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