Tool: A Guide to Partnership Agreements
A guideline on how to capture the agreements made with project partners so that you can work effectively together as a team.
An outcomes oriented framework for creating partnership – An Outline
Whether a partnership could help you to successfully deliver your project depends on a series of interrelated questions.
What strategic aims is your partnership intended to support?
Whether the partnership will be deemed a success depends on the objectives sought for entering into a partnership. Clarity on this point—and agreement with potential partners that they are aligned or mutually beneficial —must be the starting place of any potential partnership.
What are the specific elements of integration that must be in place?
Once the aims of partnership are known, attention may be turned to a detailed assessment of the various functions that may or may not be included in a partnership. An organization that can identify which elements of integration are essential for achieving each goal and which are extraneous will be able to craft a focused, impactful partnership structure.
Which organisations are the most attractive partners?
The ideal partner brings complementary strengths that align with your strategic aims and is also willing and able to cooperate in the specific, concrete ways needed. Considerations include the choice between local and national partners and the tension between cultural affinity and the benefit of a diversified perspective.
Which legal structure offers the most appropriate environment for pursuing meaningful integration?
Only once the preceding questions have been answered should discussion of the overall partnership model begin in earnest. Legal architecture and ownership structure guarantee nothing, but they do influence the feasibility of certain elements of integration. Partners will need strike a balance between the more powerful but also more complex and committal traditional legal structure and the flexibility of a less-intensive arrangement.
Who can you partner with?
There is potential to partner within and across private enterprise, not-for-profit, social enterprise and the public sector to ensure your projects have the resources to make it successful.
Some options include:
Private enterprise partnering with the Public Sector (central or local)
- Public Private Partnership’s; or
- Social Impact Bonds
Less formal arrangements can be entered with local government such as:
Community Groups partnering with local government
- Community Leases; these involve organisations leasing land or buildings at significantly reduced rates in exchange for delivering social outcomes
- Partnership Grants; Local government agencies often have funding available to support the delivery of projects and initiatives that deliver social outcomes or benefits sought by that agency for the community which it serves
Not-for-profit organisations can also partner with businesses under any terms agreed.