Avoid the Pitfalls of Partnership Working – and Write it down!

One of the key foundation stones for success in collaborative working is a fully negotiated and carefully drafted written agreement- and we can help.

Whether you are building a new alliance to influence government policy, putting together a consortium bid for funding or carefully negotiating the outline terms of a merger, it is sensible to take the time to put everything you have agreed into writing. A written agreement will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of partnership working. Writing it down is a good idea because …

  •  You write down exactly what is in the deal – and what is not in the deal
  •  Negotiations will focus you on the tricky issues – and help you deal with them at an early stage.
  • The very process of negotiation and debate helps to clarify the detail of how the collaboration will work in practice. It builds trust – and sometimes inspires enthusiasm for a common vision.
  • It helps to avoid misunderstandings. Memory can be so selective.  
  •  It provides an agreed reference point - and, during the honeymoon period, when everyone is still playing like friends, it sets down an agreed way forward for the day when you all fall out!
  • It explains what you are trying to do to your board, your funders and other stakeholders.
  • It can also be legally binding. Sometimes.

We now have over five years of experience - negotiating alliances, consortia and merger arrangements for voluntary and community organisations - and we have drafted over two hundred agreements.

If you would like further information about how NICVA can support you to build successful alliances, consortia and other partnerships, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also book for our lunchtime seminar on partnership working here.

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