Community Partnerships

BY KERRY ANDERSON

EVERY time I get asked to share my tips on successful grant seeking I always steer the conversation in another direction. 

"First," I say, "we need to talk about partnerships investing in community."

Partnerships, collaboration, call it what you want; the fact is that no-one can successfully conceive and drive a business or a community project to fruition on their own.  Even the most dynamic entrepreneur needs a skilled team around them.

Likewise a community project should start with a think tank to make sure that everything has been properly considered.  It also requires carefully selected partners to make sure that it will succeed.

Yes, there is often one person or a small group of people who drive the project and make it happen.  The smart ones, however, encourage many others to come along on the journey and share the accolades.  It’s called buy in.

They understand that success is less likely when dominated by an individual or one group. They also understand that it is about investing in outcomes that benefit a community as widely as possible. 

One strategic project can often meet multiple needs for multiple groups and this is music to an investor’s ears.  It is not about who can get the money, it is about who can provide the best return on investment to their community.

Last year I had the pleasure of working with the Northern Mallee Community Leadership participants in Mildura.  Participants worked together in small groups to scope up a self-selected project put forward by one of the group members.  Using their collective ideas the groups immediately added value to the planning process identifying potential partners and additional benefits beyond the capacity of just one person. 

In SharkTank style the groups then pitched the community project to potential investors inviting spirited questions and providing equally articulate answers. 

My point is, community partnerships can work really well if you give them a try.

 Some SharkTank fun with Northern Mallee Leaders during a 2015 Strategic Grant Seeking Workshop.

Some SharkTank fun with Northern Mallee Leaders during a 2015 Strategic Grant Seeking Workshop.

Now I can share!  CLICK HERE to download a free copy of my Grant Seeking Tips

KERRY ANDERSON:  A businesswoman, philanthropist and community advocate from Central Victoria, Kerry Anderson is passionate about rural and regional Australia.  She works with small businesses and rural communities to help them embrace opportunities.

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