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A wiki for the sector to share their experiences working in partnerships and sharing top tips.

Infrastructure organisations by their very nature need to work in partnership with others to be effective in delivering both voice and support to the sector. Effective, innovative and sustainable organisations work in a wide range of partnerships including collaborators, competitors, peers and service users.

With reduced resource, pressure to do more with less, greater demand for support and funders and policy makers promoting mergers, how do you best respond? Being outward looking, open to change and opportunities is vital when all around you is changing. Are the stars aligning to open up new partnership opportunities or are you operating where others are less willing to engage and where local funders are opting to promote competition?

This wiki is asking for your experiences of working in a variety partnerships:

1. What's the driving the change for partnerships? 

Competition? Cuts in funding? New funding? Policy/funder pressure?

2. What model's are out and there and how do you choose?

Partnership – informal/formal?

Consortia - Catalyst Stockton is a good example of consortia done well. Began as a children and young people partnership (a formal one), then health and wellbeing board - now they realised they had so much in common that they decided to go for consortia when it came to TLI. Using ACEVO to consult. Individually they couldn't bid for a million pound project, as a consortia they can. They'll put any grants to go for the board and we say who would be interested in delivering this. 

Merger -

  • All mergers must be driven by being better able to support your beneficiaries, whether that is to maintain what could be lost or be an added benefit.
  • Mergers partners must be authentic, they need to show they have clarity in their own organisation.
  • Process must be transformative not additive.
  • All about trust, should you collaborate.
  • Kate Scales, Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester says with a merger you still have a CEO that performs in strategy etc. but frees up some capacity.
  • Two individuals once met at the same events, both representing the sector. Now it's merged, it frees up one whole person to do something else.
  • Mergers can be very different in the voluntary sector to the private.
  • Get your communications ready, prepare your questions.

3. What can be the biggest challenges?

Inside your organisation and out

4. Where can you get help and support?

5. What are the top pieces of advice to someone setting out to grow how they work in partnership?


Page last edited Jun 09, 2017

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