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Negotiating the contours of a partnership, and engendering buy-in from staff and trustees of partner organizations, requires relationship-building, creative thinking and political savvy. The challenge was to develop a viable vision for the partnership, and to reach consensus around a myriad of issues, from the role of staff to the programmatic agenda, from financial obligation to cooperative fundraising, from branding to recognition.
Plan A employed a steering committee carefully composed with key staff and respected trustees from both organizations to set a common vision, identify projects of mutual benefit, establish key milestones in the relationship, and monitor progress.
• Developed and negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both organizations that set key parameters for the strategic partnership and is renewed annually.
• Engaged members of the board and senior staff in setting a vision for the partnership that guides all organizational work.
• Established a framework for, and facilitate, regular communication between the organizations’ executives that ensures open communication and effective troubleshooting.