For foundations partnerships seem like a powerful way to “broaden, deepen, and diversify cultural participation in local communities. While partnering or collaborating can be beneficial there are also pitfalls to be considered. For grantees and foundations collaboration is seen as an appropriate strategy to foster community development and cultural participation for three major reasons:
- Build organizational capacity, horizons, growth
- Expand and diversify audiences
- Expand organizational networks
Some partnerships last only as long as the grant period with little or no continued collaborative efforts beyond that point. This may occur due to:
- Insufficient Resources and Funding
- Tangential to Mission
- Logistical Difficulties
- Contention Between Partners
For all of the pros and cons of partnering there are two main keys to forming successful partnerships:
Planning. Prior to entering into a partnership explore both the feasibility and cost of partnering. Determine each partner’s role, responsibilities and goals.
Account for Costs. Determine whether you have the capacity to handle the responsibilities of collaboration, including whether you can afford to divert staff time and other resources from other activities. Also, determine how costs will be distributed, especially if partners differ dramatically in size and resources.