How to Lead Community Partnerships

Community partnerships benefit schools and students because they enrich the learning experience. Having outside support for school based initiatives allows students and staff access to items, experiences, and opportunities the school alone could not offer. Partnerships could be physical donations, volunteering time, sponsoring events, and more.

How to Lead Community PartnershipsThis post serves to help schools build and navigate healthy community partnerships that last.

Pre-Partnership

The following steps will help you prepare for healthy partnerships.

  1. Get out into the community– being visible in the community while wearing a school logo brings awareness to the school and the cause of supporting it
  2. Brainstorm potential partnerships– Make a list of businesses or community members you desire to partner with
  3. Have an outcome in mind– Be clear about what you want from the partnership
  4. Make a two-way partnership– Offer something in return so the partnership is not draining
  5. Appoint partnership liaisons– Have teacher leaders and other staff lead each partnership and be the point person for all interaction
  6. Set up a meeting– Meet with each potential partnership, sharing your idea of partnering together, and the outcome you hope to achieve in doing so

Current Partnership

The following steps will help you cultivate current partnerships to ensure they last.

  1. Meet on an ongoing basis– Having a standing meeting date/time ensures communication occurs consistently and increases the likelihood outcomes can be achieved
  2. Communicate ongoing needs– Share prioritized needs (2-3) that the partnership is capable of fulfilling
  3. Celebrate good news– Build motivation and investment in the partnership by sharing wins and good news
  4. Make the ask– Continue to ask how you can give back to them as a thank you for their support
  5. Verbalize appreciation– Make it clear that any and all support is appreciated and that no deed (big or small) goes unnoticed
  6. Use the school’s social media accounts– Broadcast the partnership to encourage others to partner with you in the future (Check out this post to share information for how to set up and utilize the social media accounts)

Post-Partnership

The following steps will help you bid farewell to partnerships in an appropriate way.

  1. Review goals and outcomes–  Review the intended goals and outcomes to evaluate how successful the partnership was
  2. Provide personalized thank you’s– Be clear and specific when showing appreciation so the partnership understandings exactly what was beneficial that they offered
  3. Offer an open door for the future– Let them know you wish to partner again and share how they can connect with you if they wish to do that

Suggested Resources

  1. First 30-Days Implementation Plan – Setting up community partnerships is one task on the list at the beginning of the year. Find out what else teacher leaders can be working on to make the school year successful.
  2. The following blog posts mention specific events to involve the community in:

GO BE GREAT!

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.