Partnership Relationships – linking policies with improved work practices at governance, management and operational levels of activity
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This Kit addresses the increasing practice in the nonprofit sector for independent and autonomous organisations choosing – or being required – to work closely with other independent and autonomous organisations to undertake a collaborative project. The purpose of a partnership relationship can be different or additional to, but compatible with, the purpose of each party in the partnership.
Starting with a clear definition of a partnership relationship, the Kit:
- presents a nine-stage process for a nonprofit organisation to consider options for a partnership relationship,
- explains the importance of relevant policies, procedures, protocols and work practices to guide and protect the partnership, and
- presents a discussion worksheet for each Section to assist with internal discussion.
Partnership relationships can be designed for short-term and long-term projects – often for a three to five year period. Agreeing to form or join a partnership relationship is in itself a time-consuming activity.
Section 1: Introduction to a Partnership Relationship
What is a Partnership Relationship?
How does a Partnership Relationship begin?
Why join a Partnership Relationship?
What is Networking?
Discussion Worksheet No. 1: How active is our organisation now in partnerships and networking?
Section 2: 9-stages in establishing an effective Partnership Relationship
Stage 1 – Catalyst for considering a Partnership Relationship
Stage 2 – Gap analysis
Stage 3 – Initial exploration
Stage 4 – Make an early decision whether to proceed with actions to form or join a Partnership Relationship
Stage 5 – Internal analysis
Stage 6 – Identify and consider potential partners
Stage 7 – Initiate or participate in preliminary discussions
Stage 8 – Representatives of each participating organisation collectively consider the manner in which the partnership relationship will operate – in practical terms
Joint initiatives between commercial and nonprofit organisations
Stage 9 – Re-visit your decision to proceed
Discussion Worksheet No. 2: Review of each of the 9 Stages
Section 3: Structural change that may be appropriate in a Partnership Relationship Merger
Shared Service Cooperative
Discussion Worksheet 3: Review of the need and options for structural change
Section 4: The Governance role in a nonprofit organisation – the role of the board
The board’s responsibilities and accountabilities as the governing body
The legal responsibilities of the board
The legal duties of board members
Power and authority vested in the position of Board member and in the board as a whole
Ethical responsibilities of board members
Conflict of interest
Discussion Worksheet 4: The role of the board as governing body 30
Section 5: Relationship between Governance, Management and Operation
Separation of organisation from service
The position of CEO is the critical link between the organisation and the service.
External funding of the organisation for provision of services
Outline of the relationship between Governance, Management and Operation
Discussion Worksheet No. 5: Governance, Management and Operation
Section 6: Policies, procedures, work practices and protocols
Introduction to policy
The process of developing new policies and procedures
Linking policies with improved work practices relating to partnership relationships
Performance indicators to link policies with improved work practices
Introducing protocols in a partnership relationship
Discussion Worksheet No. 6: Policies, procedures, work practices and protocols
Section 7: Partnership Management
Treating a partnership as a project
The role of ‘Project Manager’ for the partnership
The Responsibility matrix – a useful tool for partnership management
Discussion Worksheet No. 7: Partnership Management