Some Do's and Don'ts of Partnerships


  • Take the initiative. Talk to people. Think creatively about ways to work with others to achieve common goals.
  • Put ideas in writing for people who may be interested. Make sure to represent these as ideas rather than an agreement.
  • Clearly define the objectives of a potential partnership, the resources that each participant would bring to the activity, and the benefits that each stand to gain.
  • Be inclusive. Early on, involve people whose approval or participation will ultimately be required.
  • Learn about prospective partners; be comfortable with their reputations and capabilities before joining the partnership.
  • Be realistic in estimating the often lengthy time periods required to initiate and implement a partnership.
  • Investigate alternative strategies for achieving the objective. Are other avenues or other partners better suited to accomplish the objectives?
  • Focus on the end result.

  • Limit the ways you use partnerships to further agency objectives.
  • Endorse an external product that will be put for sale.
  • Wait until the last minute to bring in supervisors, public affairs, or agreement specialists to review the contemplated partnership.
  • Exceed your authority to solicit partnership finding from private sources.
  • Get into turf battles.
  • Get frustrated if there are delays. Time periods are estimate only!
'Dos and Donts' adopted from draft documents of the Ecological Stewardship Project.

Hari Srinivas -
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