Strategic Partnerships at DYCD

DYCD believes in supporting collaboration between schools, community-based organizations, local institutions, and community members to provide capacity building and support to neighborhoods across the city. We understand that partnering and collaborating lead to:

  • Multiplying resource sharing and capacity
  • Maximizing impact
  • Promoting community and participant engagement
  • Targeting real community need

DYCD provides capacity building and training, to deepen partnership efforts such as our Fatherhood Coalitions partnering on the ground, to our Collaboration Lab Cohort Program and Stronger Together conference.

Why Strategic Partnerships?

DYCD pursues its mission in part by cultivating strategic partnerships among providers and encouraging providers to view their work through a partnership lens. Programs that operate in partnership through formal and informal arrangements are better positioned to address the needs on the ground in their communities.

Strategic partnerships are intentional, informed relationships that ultimately increase opportunities for the partners involved and the communities they serve. Partnerships allow organizations and people to maximize their impact, avoid duplication, share resources, and support one another in their work.

There are many reasons community-based organizations, schools, and community institutions decide to partner. What is it you’re trying to do? Meet a new need or challenge in the community? Find a way to maximize your impact? Whether you are partnering with a school, local institution, or other community organization, this toolkit can help.

How does DYCD talk about strategic partnerships?

When we talk about partnerships, we often use the word collaboration. Partners work in collaboration, or they collaborate, or we even use the words partnership and collaboration interchangeably.  But what is collaboration exactly?  And does it always have to look the same? When we think about collaboration, what kinds of expectations do we have of our partnerships?

The Collaboration Continuum[1] is a partnership framework developed by the consultant and scholar, Arthur Himmelman. The Continuum supports the idea that there are multiple strategies for effectively working together that fit our needs and relationships. These strategies are integrated along a developmental continuum, with each succeeding strategy incorporating the previous one.  Below is a pictorial representation of the continuum with Himmelman’s high-level definitions and examples of each stage. Appendix A provides more detailed definitions.

[1]   Himmelman, A. A Developmental Continuum of Working Together Strategies. 2017