How do we maintain and grow the partnerships we’ve begun?
Up2Us Alliance is just that – an alliance between eight community environment groups, five of them Landcare groups, which decided they were better off together than alone.
When their Committee sat down with CLEA, they had spent several years building up partnerships with local government, Goulburn Broken CMA and State Government programs. These organisations did not have a local base in the area, and they could see the strong local connections of Up2Us. The Alliance had also increased its member base while it had funding from the Blackberry Taskforce.
But that money was ending, and there was an urgent need to turn some of the partnerships into the funding that would allow Up2Us to do what they saw was possible on the ground. Other organisations lacked a local presence, and Up2Us wanted to show that they could be that local presence.
They decided they wanted each partner to understand the breadth of what Up2Us did, to appreciate what Up2Us could do for them locally. They also needed to move each partnership into specific commitments to joint action, managed within some kind of agreement or regular consultation.
With these things in place, they thought they would be able to move at least some of their partnerships into commitment of financial resources. See their analysis of these issues in "Up2Us How do we grow the partnerships we’ve begun."
In their Best Bets session they looked closely at what they were already doing to get closer to their partners, what they could learn from this, and what they needed to start doing to make promote the Alliance:
use their acquittal of funding to educate funders on what they were doing
set up a way to get ‘people’ stories out of their on-going activities, because whatever the numbers said, this is what communicated what they were achieving
give attention as a committee to the marketing of any project, not just its on-ground delivery.
See their thinking in "Up2Us Best Bets".
18 months on, their efforts have yielded results. They have committed to documenting and telling their stories as a regular part of what they do, and have partnerships that now focus on specific actions. Some have funding attached.