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Tips for successful partnerships

Partnerships take time and effort. Thoughtful relationship-building strengthens trust, compatibility and, ultimately, the productivity of your partnership and the impact of your work together.

If it’s a new relationship, take the time to learn about your partner’s organization before you approach them. Research online, attend community events, talk to colleagues to learn more about the people and organizations you’re approaching. If reconnecting, do this to better understand their current situations. Keep colleagues and leadership informed as you may need and want their support or involvement to smooth out bumps in  the road and/or celebrate your successes.
If you have trouble making contact, seek support from superiors, colleagues and the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health to make the initial introductions. People always leave, so try to ensure the relationship is deeper and broader than just one person in each organization.
Set up an exploration meeting to learn more about each other, what each can offer, strengths and weaknesses and potential partnership activities. Be open, flexible and patient.
Start small. Take the time to know each other’s organizations – how you work together, how to manage workload, how decisions are made, etc. If it’s not working, talk about it. If it’s not working after discussions between parties, don’t be afraid to take a pause or part ways.
Have fun.
Guide: PDF Version