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Inside the Common Room

We are delighted to share some insights into what makes a good partnership from Shane Ryan, the Global Executive Director of the Avast Foundation. Shane has more than 20 years of experience as a grant partner, when he headed a multi award winning charity Future Men and as a funder, when he was the Deputy Director for the UK’s National Lottery Community Fund.

Why partner?

We know that some of our more intractable problems will only be solved when we all work together towards a solution. History shows that we work better when we come together, while the current state of our planet illustrates that working in silos or at cross-purposes causes imbalance, as we can make decisions that negatively impact wider communities.

Through effective partnership we can demonstrate the power and impact of working together. 

We live in challenging times with dwindling resources. Being able to pool and share resources can make our efforts go further and is good practice. 

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Partnership vision

Organizations often talk about working together, but either don't really commit to it or bring just their own interests to the table. Understanding the needs of your partner organizations is key. If all parties put the interests of the others first, then the partnership is far more likely to be beneficial for all, and just as importantly, to succeed in its wider objectives.

Smarter partnership

Working together effectively and for mutual benefit means harnessing all available assets and creating space for all communities of interest to have input. 

Successful partnerships can take on a variety of forms:

Partners in thought: Organizations commit to challenge each other’s thinking and assumptions, inevitably leading to creative problem solving and innovation.

Partners in production: Organizations commit to share their assets to save costs and build their collective capacity.

Partners in purpose: Organizations form networks or are aligned in working towards a shared objective (like a movement)

Hallmarks of a good partnership

If you think of the partnerships you have been involved in,either personal or professional, you’ll probably find that most, if not all of the successful ones, demonstrate many of the hallmarks listed below:

-Mutual Interest/benefit (for collaborative advantage)

-Transparency

-Trust

-Equity

-Relational leadership

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