Advice on Partnership Development

The “how to’s” of developing a community-academic partnership vary widely. Each partnership comes with its own specific set of opportunities and challenges.

The natural evolution of a partnership depends on the number and type of stakeholders present, the goals of the partnership, and many other factors, but many of the hurdles and obstacles encountered are similar across partnership development.

Typically, there are several milestones and steps to consider, such as:

  • Creating a “memorandum of understanding,” an agreement that outlines the mission, vision, values, and roles of the partnership
  • Co-creating bylaws or community agreements
  • Building trust and rapport between partners
  • Acknowledging disagreements and differences
  • Creating proposals for funding
  • Agreeing on distribution of funds
  • Dividing up project tasks
  • Overcoming institutional and practical hurdles to partnership

The Community Engagement team is available to offer guidance, problem solving, and lessons learned in each of these areas, or referrals to other content experts.