Partnerships can be helpful to parks and recreation departments. It prevents the duplication of services so that the community receives the needed programs and services, without unnecessary competition. The idea here is to utilize as many resources as possible by being efficient. Collaborate rather than compete. Forming a partnership means building successful relationships. Collaborating with outside groups is not only a way to limit your expenses in regard to resources, staff, and equipment, but it also allows the other company to market your programs and services as well.
There are some important considerations to think of before embarking in a partnership. Use your organization’s legal department to review your legal responsibilities and liabilities. Consider the expectations that you want to uphold for your agency’s brand. Key questions to ask:
- How long will your partnership last?
- Who will be running the programs?
- Buying the equipment and resources?
- How will you measure success?
- What happens with the partnership dissolves?
- How will bidding continue?
Finding the right partner is essential. Some of the methods for establishing key communication with partnerships include speaker’s bureau, public meetings (input/forums), and employee relations meetings. It’s important to involve multiple stakeholders in the process. Forming partnerships is typically a long term endeavor – one that influences your customers and establishes a reputation for your agency.
Networking is essential to parks and recreation agencies and professionals for job-related tasks. This might mean partnering with examples of:
- local parks and rec departments
- regional, state and national associations
- YMCA’s, other private companies, clubs, outfitters
- school districts
- visitor and tourism bureaus
- professional associations
These kinds of partnerships allow current trends to be shared with staff and customers. These networking methods improve the quality of life in your community because you are constantly improving your services. You can also share your resources with others so that you don’t spend unnecessary time and money. Collaborating is team work in action.
To find appropriate contractors or concessionaires…Request for Proposal = RFPs
Possible contract with agency goals and framework for services provided
Concessionaires should include scope of services, agency oversight, and performance standards
Measuring the outcomes:
- report the progress (revenue/expense reports, attendance, issues, etc.)
- inspections (secret shoppers)
- review complaints