Topic of the Month

May 2016

Building Partnerships

In Manitoba, responsibility for recreation is shared between individuals, communities, the private and non-profit sectors and all levels of government.
To be effective each of these stakeholders must work together. By working together in partnership, organizations can deliver better services and maximize their resources. Strategic partnerships provide the capacity to achieve what may not otherwise be achieved and provide the partners with additional resources and benefits.
A partnership is a relationship that is mutually advantageous and acceptable to all parties. For partnerships to succeed, people need to be willing to look at things divergently: see challenges as opportunities, other service providers as potential partners and not competition for limited funding, and see that all of the organizations at the table are in the same business of community building.

Steps for Developing Effective Partnerships

  • Make a personal commitment to the process
  • Identify potential partners. Make a list of all the potential partners in the community. Consider if they are complimentary and compatible with your organization. Ask yourself
    • Is their work compatible with your mission?
    • Are they successful in what they do?
    • Who are the key people?
    • Are their skills and experience complimentary?
    • Do they have a commitment to a future relationship?
  • Approach the organization. Present your project and ideas of how they might partner with you
  • Build a team. Different people have different skills and interests, whenever possible build teams with all of the skills needed to successfully meet your objectives.
    • Discuss roles, expectations, vision, communication, etc. before forming any partnerships
  • Implement the project
  • Evaluate the project and process. In addition to evaluating the success of the project or initiative, discuss how well the partnership worked. Identify the strengths and weaknesses, consider whether the relationship should continue and discuss how the partnership could be strengthened.


To collaborate with others successfully it takes communication, it takes time and effort and it takes a willingness to be partners. With a little effort and by working together in partnership, organizations can deliver better services and maximize their resources.
This article has been adapted from the Province of Manitoba’s Recreation Director’s Handbook, A Guide for Recreation Delivery in Aboriginal Communities (PDF 14,889 KB). For information and assistance on creating a partnership in your community or for an electronic copy of the handbook, please contact your local Recreation and Regional Services office.
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