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Toolkit: Working With Partners


ACNC Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission.


This area of the Governance Toolkit examines working in partnerships – what it means for charities to work with partners, issues that may arise, and steps charities should take to ensure a partnership is effective and successful.

Read the guide and then check your understanding by taking the assessment available.

You do not need to submit this assessment to the ACNC – it is optional and designed to help you measure your understanding of the topic and identify areas for training or improvement.

Partners are third parties that a charity might work with on services or programs.

An arrangement to work with a partner may be formal or informal, but it is more than a simple customer-supplier relationship.

There are many types of partners, and each has its own considerations and benefits. Some examples include:

Corporate entities: A charity might receive funds, goods or services, and the corporate partner receives benefits of being associated with charitable work and meeting obligations of social responsibility.
Other charities: Working with other charities or not-for-profits might involve joint fundraising or collaboration on a project.
Government entities: A charity may become a partner for the purpose of implementing a government project.
Suppliers of goods and services: Although most relationships with suppliers might be relatively simple transactions or contracted services, some charities might have a broader, more collaborative arrangement. Activities might include, for example:
Working with fundraising agencies on fundraising campaigns
Mandatory compliance services that the charity may need, such as the work of an auditor or a lawyer
Other services that a charity does not have the resources to manage, such as an IT system.

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