ACCESS Partnerships increases the abilities of businesses and community organizations to partner for community well-being and sustainability

Our focus is rooted in the experiences and recommendations of businesses for how to engage them

ACCESS Partnerships Helps...

Businesses and community organizations in a given area develop solutions to overcome obstacles they see to partnering

     

Individuals build cross-sector partnerships based on practitioner experience

  

 

Individual businesses and community organizations increase internal capabilities for cross-sector partnering

Businesses and community organization partners tell their partnership stories

Discover Our Expertise

Enabling Businesses and Community Organizations to Develop Their Own Solutions to Partnership Building

Our proven model of partnership building uses design thinking/human-centered design to engage businesses and community organizations in finding ways to overcome obstacles they see to partnering. ACCESS Partnerships developed the model beginning in 2006 in Indonesia. Our approach from the start was to produce resources for partnership building that could become locally sustainable. Since 2008 when businesses and nonprofits created the Partnership Forum to help them partner, membership has continued to increase steadily, reaching over 350 in 2018. CCPHI, the Indonesian nonprofit that runs the Forum and related activities is the leading resource in the country on business-community partnership building.

Enabling Individuals to Learn How to Partner based on Practitioner Experience

Since 2013, we have taught short courses on business-nonprofit partnership building using case studies developed by practitioners and other tools on partnership issues. A core issue addresses how practitioners we've worked with distinguish partnerships from other collaborative relationships. We are now in our sixth year of using these tools to teach a popular skill institute for graduate students in social enterprise at American University.

Enabling Individual Organizations to Increase Their Internal Capabilities To Partner Across Sectors

Since 2004, our research on how to increase business support for health and community well-being, continues to find the same obstacles of partnership building: mutual mistrust, and lack of knowledge and skills to partner. Research on competencies needed by individuals who help organizations partner across sectors finds the same thing. In 2016, a study of competencies considered most important for cross-sector practitioners indicated that knowing how to build trust and communicate across sectors are high priorities.

Enabling Business And Community Organization Partners to Tell Their Stories

In 2008, ACCESS Partnerships initiated a process to help business-nonprofit organization partners in Indonesia tell the stories of their existing partnerships through presentations and case studies. Our commitment to produce sustainable local resources for partnership building ensured that we worked with Indonesian colleagues to help partners tell their stories. Our formal role ended in Indonesia in 2013, but our Indonesian colleagues have continued to help partners produce case studies.  Colleagues are staff of CCPHI, the Indonesian nonprofit that evolved from our work together. All partners are members of the Partnership Forum run by CCPHI. The 31 case studies currently available in English represent a unique resource to help businesses and community organizations learn how to partner. The content of the four-page case studies is based on guidelines developed in consultation with businesses and community organizations. They offer comparable information on how businesses and community organizations initiate and implement partnerships, their motivations for partnering, how they overcome challenges, their results, and key success factors. Case studies can be found here.

“[The Partnership Forum] is very helpful to us. It is the place where we met one of our new partners, PCI, and is an excellent forum for building relationships and learning new things. We need to continue this [Partnership Forum] – it can provide valuable guidance on how to best help local communities.”

Arief Latif
Vice President, Social and Local Development,
PT Freeport Indonesia

“The[Partnership Forum] is wonderful. In my 30 years of attending such discussions, I have hardly ever felt I was in such a safe place where people listened and gave themselves time to absorb and then comment.”

Debra Yatim 
Founder and Director, Yayasan Komseni, Indonesian nonprofit

“I can’t say enough good things about how useful the [ACCESS Partnerships] case studies and lessons-learned materials on your website have been in our new masters degree program in social enterprise. They have become the centerpiece of our graduate course on NGO-private sector partnerships. Unlike traditional business school cases, yours get right to the point and clearly convey the hard-won wisdom generated by these worthy efforts. We expect our students to build on your experiences in Indonesia and apply them throughout the world as they work to guide corporations toward having positive social impacts.”

Robert Tomasko, Director of the Social Enterprise Program at American University’s School of International Service

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