A strong component to your grant application is the inclusion of formal community partnerships to show the review board and funders that other community agencies are invested in the outcomes of the potential new project. So, once you are funded and begin implementing your program, how do you maintain partner engagement and thank your various community partners for their commitment and investment in your organization? Whether your organization is engaging with new agencies or maintaining a long-lasting partnership, it is vital to thank your partners. Thanking your partners does not always have to cost anything, but should be personal and sincere.
Although this gesture may seem small, a simple thank you card can go a long way to show your appreciation. Set aside some time to develop a unique and earnest message thanking partnering agencies for providing the various services, monetary contributions, and their time towards the success of your program. Sending out these thank you messages should not be a one-time occurrence, but should be issued quarterly or a couple of times a year to continue to show appreciation and promote multiorganizational cohesion.
When your program holds particular events, or engages with the general community, be sure to invite a representative from your partnering agencies. By sending them an invitation, they are able to see the positive impact the program is making and can maintain strong partnership engagement. This can also increase community involvement and bring in more attendees to your events. By physically seeing your program in action, partners can feel that their investment in your organization is worthwhile and also sends a message of gratitude.
At your events, be sure to publicly acknowledge the contributions of your partnering agencies to the community members who are present. Thank them for their participation whether they are providing the space, refreshments, offering various services, or other donations that are crucial to the success of your program. When you thank your partners at these events, it publicly shows the partnership and can also increase the reach of you and your organization’s programs and services.
Additionally, when your organization distributes newsletters, program updates, brochures, or flyers, be sure to recognize your partners on those documents. A small sentence in the footer of your marketing materials can share your partner’s information and be a small token of appreciation. If you cannot fit a description on these documents, the organization’s logo is still an efficient indication of acknowledgement.
Finally, if your partners have a stronger role in your program, inviting representatives of these organizations to attend trainings, professional development or conferences are great ways to not only show appreciation of your partnering agency’s participation, but promote sustainability of your program and increase the reach of various community services and offerings.
Whatever your organization’s capacity, it is imperative to maintain the partnerships that you included in your proposal. By thanking your partners through the aforementioned strategies, you are strengthening the relationship and pursuing your organization’s mission through partnership and community buy-in.