The Success Factors in the Partnership Readiness Building Block:


External Readiness

  • Understanding the needs of the community
  • Assessing history of successful collaboration & cooperation **
  • Analyzing turfism – other partners/ competitors
  • Being honest about cultural relevance


Internal Readiness

  • Organizational capacity
  • Garnering internal leadership support
  • Being clear about decision makers
  • Allocating sufficient funds, staff, material & time **
  • Ensuring there is skilled leadership **


Organizations choose to enter into partnerships with one another for various reasons, including funder requirements, wanting to reduce duplication, increased enrollment, and the belief that partnership yields greater impact. These reasons can drive us to collaborate without considering whether or not the external environment is fertile and ready. Pausing to think about turfism, the needs of the community and assessing what other existing organizations and partners are doing can help organizations determine whether or not they are truly ready to partner.

Another key part of Readiness is figuring out the internal commitment to collaboration within your organization. We all know that partnership work is often an “extra” – added on top of a current workload, rather than seen as a part of someone’s work. Do you have the support you need to make this work successful, including the support of your boss, the ability to pull needed resources from your organization when necessary, decision-making authority and the sanctioned time to commit to the effort? Lack of resources and capacity is one of the main reasons partnerships fail.