Involving More Partners in your Community-Business Partnership

A successful community-business partnership can expand to include more activities, more people or, possibly, more partners.

Spreading the success of a healthy community-business partnership is something that should be encouraged, as it multiplies the benefits to the community and to those involved. Including more partners is one way this can happen.

The benefits of involving more groups in your partnership:
  • It can multiply partner benefits and community benefits.
  • It can create more resources for partnership activities.
  • It can draw more attention to the partnership and its work, creating a higher profile and better publicity.
  • It can increase the influence of each partner.
  • It creates new contacts for all involved.
Some general tips for expanding your partnership:
  • Consult everyone currently involved to ensure any expansion has their support.
  • Consider appointing a committee or delegating the responsibility of finding an additional partner to work with to a group drawn from both partners. (Those involved should consider the existing partnership model and what types of groups would complement it.)
  • In addition, ask the business partner's staff and the community partner's staff or members for any suggestions for potential new partners. You may end up with a shortlist to choose from.
  • Once a decision is made, progress properly through any approvals process your business or group might have, and gain broad approval for the inclusion of a new partner.
  • Finally, make a formal approach to the potential new partner – either in writing or by telephone – with a request for a meeting. If the first approach doesn't work out, return to your shortlist and approach another group.
Once you have your new partner on board, include them in any of your formal agreements (written agreements, a memorandum of understanding, ethics guidelines, etc.).

Also include them in your newsletter and other public promotions. The announcement might also be news in itself, and a good time to promote your partnership again!