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#51. The First Rule of Partnership Grids

Updated: Nov 14, 2018

November is Partnership Grid Month!

This week we'll help you identify the best partners to highlight in your Partnership Grid questions, AKA, "The Questions Previously Known As the Partnership Grid."

1st Time Applicants:

Reclassifying applicants:

You've probably discovered that your campus interacts with a multitude of different community groups. Hopefully, you've been jotting them down in an informal inventory of community engagement initiatives.

But you can only include 15 in the application, so they all need to count.

First off, let's talk red flags.

Here are some criteria you can use to rule out lots of your campus's community groups, right off the bat.

1. It's a partnership grid, not a programs grid.

o If you can't name a distinct community partner agency, don't use this partner.

o And don't worry, you'll have a chance to showcase community engaged outreach programs elsewhere in the application.

2. No relationship, no partnership.

o The 15 partners you highlight will all have to complete a survey talking about the quality of your campus's partnership approach.

o A good candidate will have someone on staff or in the group's leadership who is invested enough in the partnership to learn about the survey and be sure to take it when it comes out. If responsibility for completing the survey is treated like a hot potato, don't use this partner.

o Whoever does answer the survey be vouching for all the claims you will make in the application about how great your campus is to the community. They'll also need a good handle on the idea of reciprocity and mutuality. If there's no person at the community group who can speak insightfully on these topics, don't use this partner.

3. Mirror, Mirror

o There's a good chance you've got some strong candidates in mind who simply haven't been approached with the specific language of partnership quality, mutuality, and reciprocity before now. Don't worry. This is a great opportunity to have that conversation! Just be sure that the campus participants in this partnership actually have a history of prioritizing partnership quality, ensuring mutuality, and cultivating reciprocity throughout the life of the partnership. If you have any doubts about whether this partner has had a great experience with your campus, you may not want to use this partner.

Next week: You know who not to pick, now how to sort through the best of the best


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