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.