• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Files spread between Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, and more? Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes them for you. Try it for free today.


Building and Maintaining Partnerships - Overview

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 2 years, 5 months ago

Front Page / Bonner Program Resources / Building and Maintaining Partnerships / Overview



Building and Maintaining Partnerships

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download



Well-developed community partnerships are necessary for creating change within our local communities, nation, and even world. The Bonner Program rests on a commitment to meaningful, long-term service commitments to the partners and communities with which we work. These relationships are intended to be intentional and reciprocal. Each campus program develops a long-term approach, working with key partners year after year.  This dedication to our partners promotes more significant change, resource development, and capacity building in our communities—as well as allows for personal and professional growth for each volunteer.


Developmental Community Partnerships

 For the purposes of the Bonner Scholars Program, “community service” is defined as service provided to individuals or communities to meet social, educational, or environmental needs. This service may be provided directly or indirectly through a student-initiated project or a project sponsored by a non-profit or government agency.


Since the Bonner Program rests on a commitment to meaningful, long-term service relationship to the partners and communities with which we work, the following is the developmental stages of establishing and maintaining partnerships.  Along side the a hallmarks, each stage includes the annual completion of the Opportunity Forms and Accomplishment Forms, and on-going support and management from professional staff and students. 


Level 1: Exploratory Partnerships

    • Discussion of the Bonner Developmental Model
    • Have few student volunteers (Bonners)

    • Exploratory/short-term academic or co-curricular projects
    • Clear understanding of mission, programs, and structure

Level 2: Emerging Partnerships

    • Clear partnership plan (ideally 3+ year commitment)
    • Agency working to develop team (at least three students) with developmentally distinct positions 

    • Clear liaison; regular communication; experimental faculty roles 

Level 3: Engaged Partnerships

    • Agency can count on an annual "team" (at least three students) with clear roles (direct and capacity building)
    • Ongoing connection to at least on faculty member; role of partners in training students; annual plan and evaluation

Level 4: Exemplary Partnerships

    • Sustained Teams ("deep partnership")
    • Long-Range (multiyear)

    • Strategic Plan (or collective impact focus)
    • Ongoing academic community engagement and capacity building projects; partners as co-educators  



Types of Community Partners


Because of the long-term nature of partnerships cultivated by the Bonner Program and campus centers, the schools, nonprofit and government partners can count on having a range of different supports including:


  • Regular student volunteers (or staff and faculty as well)
  • Program or site coordinators (who help train and manage volunteers)
  • Capacity Building projects (like writing curriculum, launching a program, raising money, or doing needed research)
  • Connections with faculty and coursework
  • Participation in public education or advocacy campaigns designed to raise awareness on an issue or mobilize people


The chart below captures how this work might also be conceived up in a developmental progression.




A partner for the Bonner Foundation could be not just one organization, but an organizational partnership. For any organization, working in a organizational partnership  can be difficult, costly and take more time than working in isolation. There are many ways of working in a organizational partnership with others organizations:


  • One first stage can be to work in a cooperative approach, primarily on sharing information and expertise. In this stage of the relationship, participants are loosely connected so their contribution to the relationship is low.


  • The second stage is the coordinated approach, where the parties realized the need to work together to meet a set goal. Although involved in setting joint policies and programs, organizations still enjoy a high degree of freedom.


  • The collaborative approach is characterized by a strong and highly interdependent relationship, whereas we could say that the collective impact is the top-notch collaboration model.

Although cross-sector participation is widely present in collaborations, it may not always be found in the first steps of this continuum. Cross-sector collaboration is a key factor in addressing complex problems as hunger, poverty or education. Being part of a cross sector organizational partnership will help Bonners have a wider vision of  the causes that generate poverty and social injustice, while understanding the implication of different stakeholders (e.g. private sector, public agencies, non-profits, communities or schools).