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The Collaboration Spectrum: How to Enter into Community Partnerships While Maintaining Organizational Identity

About This Session


Collaboration, at its best, leverages the strengths and resources of multiple groups to accomplish shared goals. In this session, we will look at forming beneficial partnerships that don’t sacrifice the core identity of your organization.

What we'll cover:

What does it look like for your organization to work jointly with other entities? Collaboration is a game of give and take, but it doesn’t mean you should muddy the waters of your organization’s identity and vision for the sake of forming alliances with local partners.

In this interactive session, we will explore different levels of collaboration and what those formal and informal partnerships might look like. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their relationships with area partners and determine what strategies and best practices may create more robust alliances with organizations that share similar goals.

Refugee Language Project is a non-profit focused on minority languages, education and relational ministry among refugee communities in Amarillo, Texas. At various stages in our development, we have been approached by organizations who need our expertise and relational capital. On the other hand, we have often found ourselves reaching out to other organizations who have resources and connections we need. With the input of a consultant, we were able to establish a robust framework for understanding different levels of collaboration with community partners.

Using the Strategic Collaboration Continuum developed by Social Impact Architects, participants will explore the informal structures of networking, cooperation, coordination, and coalition as well as the more formal structures of alliance and integration that require strategic restructuring.

Additionally, an essential component of successful community partnerships is a well-defined organizational vision and mission. Without this filter to guide decisions on collaboration, promising partnerships can result in strained relationships, team burnout and unmet goals.

Topics & Focus

Primary Topic Area
topic - community partnerships & collaboration
Session will also cover:
topic - fundraising & program sustainability
topic - advocacy, public awareness
PD other

Handouts & Materials

Pennington, Crystal

Presenter: Crystal Pennington
Organization: Refugee Language Project

ROLE decision makers
LEVEL advanced
Case study?

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