How do you find potential partners?
Identifying partners takes having a clear understanding of surrounding resources and knowing who to ask. In the beginning, cast your net wide — unexpected partners may help you explore new and innovative programming ideas, but over time, begin to narrow down your list to find partners who'd be the best fit.
- Be creative — partners aren't just people: They're locations, organizations and places.
- Use connections such as friends, parents and the youth themselves to identify potential partners. For example, does one of the students have a parent who works at an organization you would like to partner with? Have them make an introduction.
- Think about partners both in terms of how they can enhance a particular project (e.g., partnering with a bank for a project on personal budgeting) and how they can support the overall program mission (e.g., partnering with an area grocery store to provide healthy, low-cost snacks to youth).
- Leverage technology. The wide variety of Web-based tools makes it easier than ever to form strong relationships and share information, even across a distance. If you live in a rural or even an urban community, use technology to work with partners from a distance.
- Use the Strengthening Partnerships Implementation Planner to identify a wide array of potential partners.
- Find partners who specialize in supporting young people in difficult situations, such as drug and alcohol abuse. Whether the youth are experiencing addiction issues or are concerned about a family member or friend, you can find advice and assistance through these sources, and encourage youth to do the same. Here are some examples:
> Connect with a local effort already working toward a safe and healthy, drug-free community through Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
> Take a look at Above the Influence’s Get Help page (Ask the Doc, Help a Friend and When Parents Use).
> Get steps to take, facts to know and a helpline to call at The Partnership at drugfree.org and Time to Get Help.
> Find nearby treatment options using the Treatment Finder on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website.
What considerations do afterschool programs think about when identifying partners?
They consider student needs, parent needs and opportunities that would benefit students.
How do afterschool programs choose partners?
They prioritize their needs and seek partners that can meet those needs.
- 2Key Terms
- 3Strengthening Partnerships Diagram
- 4Partnership Benefits
- 5Build on Strengths
- 6Potential Partners
- 7Partner Inventory
- 8Find Partners
- 9Strategies for Getting Started
- 10Identify Your Needs
- 11Identify Resources
- 12Summarize Your Needs
- 13Map Community Resources
- 14Consider How to Select Partners
- 15Create Partnerships
- 16Establish a Common Vision
- 17Clarify & Communicate Roles & Responsibilities
- 18Create an Advisory Board
- 19Communicate Regularly
- 20Share Data
- 21Ask Questions, Collect Data
- 22Make Sense of Data
- 23Distribute and Discuss
- 24Keep it Legal
- 25Final Reflection
- 26Learn More Library
- 29Check for Understanding