Partnering for Impact

November 16, 2021 Brent Dillinger

​A Guide to Exploring Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships can take an organization from just surviving in these ambiguous times to a level of thriving and creating more impact as we navigate into the post-pandemic future. While the concept of partnering can leave leaders with a sense of curiosity of what could be, it can also seem overwhelming and confusing as to how to even get started exploring the possibilities. This guide, from an industry expert on this topic, aims to provide senior leaders and the Boards of mission-oriented organizations some practical know-hows and inspiration to get the partnership conversations started.


"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb


What is a Strategic Partnership?

  • A collaboration that one party enters into with another to leverage the strengths and capacities to share in a common goal
  • Long-term, organizational collaborations
  • Legally structured, with each party sharing in the liabilities and any positive outcomes
  • “Strategic Alliances” often refer to a relationship between two parties recognizing they have a mutually beneficial relationship; often these are less binding agreements, sealed with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Read the full whitepaper above to explore the four types of formal collaboration, learn why strategic partnerships matter, and discover what questions to ask to ensure your partnership is set up for success. Then, check out this complementary resource on building your organization's strategic plan.


About the Author

Brent Dillinger

Brent Dillinger is the CEO of Trivium Life Services (formerly Crossroads of Western Iowa). Since 2008, he has overseen rapid growth as the organization's headcount, budget, and people served have all more than tripled. Dillinger has a strong background in retail management and is currently an active board member and Past-Board President of the Iowa Association of Community Providers (IACP) Board of Directors.

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