“Strengthening Communities through Local Partnerships” Research Project
DRAFT Partnership Agreement Template
Working in a Partnering Way….
getting relationships onto paper
Many organisations in Waitakere are now working in a collaborative or “partnering way”. At the
heart of partnerships and partnering are relationships which are underpinned by a range of
values and processes such as trust, respect and honest, open communication.
Working in partnership requires a significant investment (both financial and non-financial). It
also involves power sharing and in many cases, working towards goals that may be wider than
your own. Co funding is also common, with various partners often bringing quite different (ie.
not equal) contributions to the table. Risks must be protected and shared values, visions and
processes for working together established.
Some sort of documentation about how things will work will likely be necessary. It may be as
simple as a one-page statement of what people are trying to do together, or it may be a longer
Terms of Reference or a Memorandum of Understanding or a Partnership/Partnering
So where do you start??? How do you put relationships on paper? How do you avoid 1000
pages of legalistic old style contracting?? How do you ensure that what goes on paper is
owned by all the partners and helps set the scene for successful collaborative working?
When you prepare a REAL agreement you need to make sure that:
~ everyone has the chance to talk about what’s important to them and what they
want to see in an agreement
~ you take time to get wording and meanings/intentions right
~ everything is negotiable yet everyone is willing to compromise if things get tricky
~ the needs of both the partnership collective and individual partners are addressed
~ that everyone feels comfortable with the agreement before anything is signed
What follows below is a possible partnership agreement template that could be adapted for
many kinds of collabora