Build Partnerships

Engaging a broad set of partners is critical to the success of afterschool programs and to the afterschool field more broadly. In every community, numerous stakeholders can contribute support for afterschool programs. Schools, businesses, community services, higher education, elected officials, municipal leaders, faith-based organizations, foundations – and the list goes on – can play a pivotal role in building a strong, high-quality afterschool program and help build a stable foundation for the field of afterschool statewide.

Building afterschool partnerships can:

  • Help market your program
  • Build a base of outspoken supporters for afterschool
  • Secure funding for your program
  • Bring in professional development opportunities
  • Increase in-kind donations including volunteers and goods
  • Ensure program sustainability
  • Introduce new, quality curriculum

Partnerships begin with building relationships in your community; to start, you build relationships with people and organizations when you don’t need them. Invite potential partners to events and meetings that will help them get to know your program and understand how it adds value to the community, which in turn, adds value to their organization or business, then when you engage them with an ask to support your organization, they will have a better sense of how they can best be of service.

Here are some tips for building a partnership:

  • Invite them to a program site visit
  • Invite them to social events that your program is hosting
  • Add them to your email and mailing list
  • Visit their organization or business
  • Meet them for coffee or lunch
  • Advertise their services
  • Attend their events

For more information: