8 roles for collaboration partners

Teaming up with another organization can be exciting, nerve-wracking, productive and fulfilling. Frances Dunn Butterfoss outlined eight ways to be a good collaboration partner in her book “Ignite: Getting Your Community Coalition Fired Up for Change.”

The eight roles partners can take are:

  • Convener/facilitator: encourages discussion on issues that lead to further action;
  • Catalyst: uses her organization’s influence and resources to whip up support for the coalition;
  • Funder or conduit: provides funding or serves as facilitator for funding;
  • Advocate: supports the coalition’s constituency, and policy and system changes the coalition is trying to effect;
  • Community organizer: recruits and engages community organizations and individuals;
  • Technical assistance provider: trains staff or provides expertise on planning, data collection, funding proposals, legal issues, marketing, advocates or other skills;
  • Capacity builder: helps the coalition prioritize issues and secure resources to map community assets, set goals, evaluate activities and access resources; and,
  • Partner: shares risks, responsibilities and rewards, builds relationships and identifies challenges.