Tips for successful partnerships

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  • Partners can offer different types of contributions - sponsorship support, in-kind (staff, meeting and event venues), direct funding etc. Think of the different ways you could get support from them before you approach them - you may come away with cash and an in-kind contribution that helps them truly engage with the project.
  • Understand your potential partner’s likely interest in the competition and present them with a value proposition for their engagement (a ‘one-pager’ is useful so that your contact can use this to approach higher levels within organisations). An example of a sponsorship/partnership proposal is provided below. 
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of documentation - take meeting minutes, formalise agreements in Memoranda of Understanding (these are non-binding, but significant to developing a shared vision). When funded deliverables are part of the deal, a more formal and legally binding contract may be appropriate.
  • Have a competition ‘go-to person’ or champion in each partner organisation who is committed to the project and has the remit to act for the partner.
  • Although partner management and networking is often invisible, it is very time consuming but is essential to a successful process and outcome.

Breathe logo

“As soon as Christchurch City Council promoted the idea of a housing showcase as an international design and build competition, many professionals, organisations and businesses stepped up to help drive it towards a successful outcome, with Beacon Pathway Inc. acting as a catalyst.

The idea was embraced by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority as an Anchor Project in its Central City Plan for Christchurch.

A council steering group, together with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the New Zealand Institute of Architects, the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects, Beacon Pathway Inc., and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, developed the competition brief and rules.

Generous sponsorships were provided by New Zealand Steel, New Zealand Cement and Concrete Association, the Building Research Association of New Zealand, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, to finance awards for the four Stage 1 competition finalists to help them develop their Stage 2 entries.“

Duncan Joiner in Breathe: Medium density housing design competition Christchurch 2013


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