There are many different ways in which organizations can work together. Some arrangements are more informal while others may involve a contract or memorandum of understanding. Organizations also have varied reasons for working with others. These reasons can influence the type of partnership established.
The following table describes four tiers of partnerships: networking, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. One tier is not necessarily "better" than another; the best type of partnership is the one that is the best fit, given what the organization hopes to achieve.
Sharing what various organizations are doing during an interagency networking meeting, talking about community issues in which they all have a stake, or communicating with other organizations about existing programs, activities, or services.
Partners publicize each others' programs in organization newsletters, write letters in support of each others' grant applications, co-sponsor trainings or professional development activities, or exchange resources such as printing or meeting space.
Serving together on event planning committees or community boards, or implementing programs or services together.
Formal agreements between participating organizations, including memoranda of understanding or formal contracts, developing common data-collection systems across organizations and community sectors, partnering on joint fundraising efforts, pooling fiscal or human resources, or creating common workforce training systems.
Developed under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies contract. Reference #HHSS277200800004C. For training and/or technical assistance purposes only.