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June 14, 2013

The Identifying Partners tool on Y4Y can help you take stock of the valuable resources – individuals, organizations, and groups – that have great potential for partnership with your program.

As you look down the list of partners on the tool, think about who else in your local area serves the same population of young people or follows a similar mission as your program’s. By partnering and pooling together resources, you can deepen your impact and provide more of the support that your students need.  

June 14, 2013

Y4Y offers many strategies for strengthening partnerships, plus a wealth of practical tools that programs can use to implement those strategies. One set of tools guides you in creating a Memorandum of Understanding, also known as an MOU, an agreement that two organizations sign to formalize their partnership. The MOU presents the reason and the goals for the partnership, the perspectives and the roles of both organizations, and how to measure the success of the partnership. Y4Y makes MOUs easy by providing the following tools:

Sample Memorandum of Understanding - See an MOU that another program has created.

Developing an Effective Memorandum of Understanding - Check out this document for examples of language and partnership roles appropriate for an MOU.

Memorandum of Understanding Tool - Fill in the blanks to create your own MOU.

Memorandum of Understanding Template - Use this for more detailed guidance in creating your MOU.  

June 14, 2013

With such a busy year coming to a close, you may be looking back and wishing you had done more this year to engage partners. Looking ahead, you can plan for a robust partnership maintenance plan next school year. Signing a partner on board is just the beginning, and sustaining the relationship is critical to long-term success. You can start on this course by thinking through some possibilities for maintaining a good relationship with each of your partners. The Maintaining Partnerships tool on Y4Y provides some suggestions that you can personalize in a way that fits with your partners.

Then, take a look at this Coaching Moment on Y4Y, where these ideas and others are mapped out on a calendar and fleshed out with some details. As you start to set next year’s program calendar with field trips, staff development sessions, and family engagement events, you can also include the activities you’ll do to keep your partnerships strong and long-lasting.  

June 14, 2013

Did you miss the Coffee Break webinar last week when we highlighted several great resources on Y4Y for strengthening partnerships? Don’t worry – all of the tips and tools we talked about are still right at your fingertips. A recording of the webinar is available on Y4Y along with a list of the resources we discussed right in the Archived Webinars section. So if you weren’t able to attend or you want to watch it again and share it with your team, Y4Y has you covered. You can access archived recordings of all our webinars any time, on demand, at your convenience.

If you want to start using some of the tools we showcased, just click, print, and implement.

1) Train staff in working with volunteers so the whole team is ready to go.

2) Get to know volunteers better so they can make the best possible contribution to your program with a volunteer skills grid.

3) Prepare all staff to be helpful coaches for the program’s volunteers using these scenarios.

4) Find evaluation examples from CYFERNet so you can share concrete data with partners and let them know what impact they’re having.

5) Read up on what makes a successful partnership, according to The Finance Project.  

June 5, 2013

Is your program seeking additional resources to get next school year off to a great start? In this e-blast, the Y4Y team offers a three-step plan for bolstering your partnership efforts. Tackle just one task each month and you’ll have stronger relationships in place by Labor Day.

First, though, take a moment to absorb the many functions a partner can play in supporting your program. This list from the Learn section of Strengthening Partnerships demonstrates the great potential that’s right down the road. Reach out to others in your community to sell your program. You may find partners that you never knew existed—interested parents, local businesses, civic leaders, churches and other community organizations.

Think about the creativity, energy, and color that a small arts organization could add to your enrichment time by sharing staff as volunteers a few hours per week. What about the wisdom, humor, and guidance that members of local faith-based organizations could provide through biweekly mentoring? The hardware store’s scraps can become versatile supplies for your art corner. And don’t forget the evaluation services a graduate student at the nearby university might be able to provide, pro bono.

Now you’re ready to get started on your to-do list. Keep us posted on your progress through the summer by joining the Partnerships Summer Project Discussion Board conversation.