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Community Action Tool Kit
How to Work with Partners in Your Communities
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Involving Partners in Your Communities
Identifying partners in your community to help you raise awareness about P.A.D. will be essential to effectively reaching your target audiences, and will also lend added credibility and validity to your effort. It will be important to identify additional third-party organizations that can help you promote Stay in Circulation campaign messages and information. You can also tap partners to:
- Provide new ideas, offer support, and/or feedback
- Identify or provide site or facility space for events
- Identify and secure experts in cardiovascular disease and P.A.D.
- Print and/or distribute campaign materials
- Secure staff (including volunteers) and/or funds for events
The following are examples of partners you could consider exploring to locally promote the Stay in Circulation campaign and raise awareness about P.A.D.:
- Health and Medical Partnership Opportunities
- Medical practices
- Community health centers and clinics
- Community Partnership Opportunities
- Faith-based organizations
- Community picnics, parades, and festivals
- Recreation centers and parks
- Volunteer organizations (such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)
- Public libraries
- State and Local Government Partnership Opportunities
- Community leaders
- Health departments
- Chambers of commerce
- Area agencies on aging
- 50-Plus-Specific Partnership Opportunities
- Retirement communities
- Assisted living communities
- Senior centers
Local Businesses Can Lend Your Effort Added Value
You may also want to identify and pursue "nontraditional" partnerships within the corporate sector to help raise awareness about P.A.D. Collaborations with businesses and corporations can create additional promotional opportunities and can increase access to media, promotional, and distribution channels, and association with well-known and respected brands relevant to your target audiences.
Businesses in your community you might want to consider include:
- Retail and department stores
- Supermarket chains
- Sports and fitness
- Senior living and retirement
- Active apparel
Forming and Growing Your Partnership Circle
Your partnerships might involve the following people and community groups:
- Family and friends: Ask your family and friends, neighbors, church members, and coworkers early on to help plan your activity or give you feedback and support.
- Community groups: Seek support from community groups, neighborhood and social organizations, park and recreation departments, and community centers. These organizations may be able to offer building or other facility space, staff (including volunteers), help reaching people and spreading the word, and their expertise in planning activities and fundraising.
- Places of worship and faith-based groups: Many places of worship and faith-based groups already have community service and health-related programs. They may be able to give you space and staff, help to reach people, and offer skills in activity planning.
- Health care providers: Local hospitals, community health centers and clinics, and health departments often have experts who may be willing to help you host educational seminars about P.A.D., carry out health screenings, and distribute Stay in Circulation campaign materials on your behalf. These services often are free or very low cost.
- Local businesses: Grocery stores, pharmacies, shoe stores, sporting goods stores, fitness centers, beauty salons, dance studios, and restaurants can help. Local businesses may be able to co-sponsor an activity or provide prizes and free items, such as water bottles or pedometers. They can also help to reach people by posting Stay in Circulation campaign materials in their establishments.
- Community leaders: Schools, faith-based organizations, health care leaders, neighborhood councils, and chamber of commerce members are just some of the leaders in your community who can help find extra funds and facilities. They can also spread the word about your activity.
- Media: Local television and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and newsletters can help spread the word about your activity. They may also be interested in cosponsoring your events or may want to have someone attend the activity to write or air a story about it. See Chapter 3 for more information about media outreach.
Tips for Approaching Partners
- Do your research—make sure that it makes sense to partner with a particular organization. Do they serve the target audiences at risk for P.A.D.? Are their goals in line with the goals of your organization?
- Call or write to potential partners and set up a time to talk about your ideas for a community activity about P.A.D.
- Talk about a few ways the person or group might be able to help as a partner. For example, the partner might give you funds, materials, staff, volunteers, free items, space to host a P.A.D. screening, free dance lessons for attendees of your event, or publicity. The partner could also help reach participants or find expert speakers.
Tips for Working Effectively with Partners
- Send the partner any extra information about the activity, such as goals, an outline or agenda, materials, and a timeline.
- Organize meetings that bring all of your partners together.
- During meetings, discuss activity goals, partners' roles, how you're moving ahead with plans, and any activity needs.
- Learn from your partners, and use their ideas and feedback to plan the activity. After the activity has ended, ask your partners to tell you what they thought went well, and what they thought could be made better. This "evaluation" is important for future planning.
- Let your partners know what participants thought about the activity.