Partnership Building

About Partnership Building

Building public and private partnerships is the basis for developing a strong chorus of voices to influence policymakers. Policymakers expect program providers to be seeking additional funds for access and quality, but will be impressed when a broad range of stakeholders is collaboratively engaged. Potential partners want to know:

  • Does this partnership fit with our mission and vision?
  • How will this partnership help our organization serve our constituents?
  • Will we have a say on policy and activities of the statewide afterschool network?
  • What is the cost to our organization (time, money and staff)?
  • What other partners are involved?

Key Information

  • Most statewide afterschool networks have at least 20 partners.
  • Although it may take longer for coalitions or organizations of diverse entities to agree on a policy or program element, the time needed for implementation is shorter, because the group has made a decision together.
  • The collective membership of organizations brings political weight to ideas and policies that the network supports.
  • If partners can make an impact on something important to their constituency without a huge investment, they will be more inclined to support the partnership.

Strategies to Support Partnership Building

  • Determine likely allies to develop policies supporting afterschool and expanded learning.
  • Develop an interview questionnaire and sit down face-to-face with potential partners, so you are doing research and engagement at the same time.
  • Reference network profiles for partners involved in other networks.
  • Address specific audiences by framing issues around specific topics in afterschool and expanded learning according to specific audiences.

General Publications

A tool to help the growing number of afterschool partnerships create a shared vision for their work, containing information to educate partners on what a vision statement is and the purpose it serves.
A paper highlighting six models of community problem solving.
This guide describes key strategies that city leaders can use to generate support for access to high-quality out-of-school time activities.

Network Publications

A presentation on ways states can build partnerships among the stakeholders to make the case for afterschool.
The Service Access and Information Link (SAIL) tool provides information to community-based organizations and programs to better serve their youth, families, and community.
This document is an example of a memorandum of understanding between the United Way of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island After School Plus Alliance.


An online interactive tool for effective partnership building between community-based organizations and schools for continuous youth development.
A tool for planning and facilitating an afterschool community forum, including facts, tips for planning, participation, sample activities, working with elected officials and templates.
Information to forge stronger partnerships between schools and community-based after school programs.