Collaboration Toolkit

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Identify Key Partners

When scoping out key partners for your collaborative, consider the problem you’re trying to solve. Based on your initial concerns, what players in your community are well placed to help you achieve your goals?

To develop a “short-list” of key members, consider networking methods like:

  • Using tried and tested allies and long-standing relationships.
  • Interviewing community leaders.
  • Asking trusted peers for recommendations.

You might also want to research some identifying questions, like:

  • Who are the thought-leaders on your priority issues?
  • Who has credibility in the eyes of your community?
  • Who has the skills and knowledge to deliver solutions?
  • Who has the power to implement solutions efficiently?

Who has vested interest in finding solutions…

…at the state level?

For example, state and regional departments responsible for protecting drinking water sources (Note: state partners are also key allies for groups with regional or local scope).

…at the regional level?

For example, National Estuary Programs and Interstate Commissions who receive federal funding to support watershed protection.

…at the local level?

For example, drinking water system managers, or nonprofits and public interest groups focusing on environmental and public health, conservation districts, watershed councils, county water resource departments, or power or other companies or community groups engaged in restoration work.

Looking for more key partners?

The National Source Water Collaborative (SWC) can help:

  • Find national organizations committed to source water protection. Contact their local/state members in your area.
  • Use the SWC’s Find Allies tool to find potential partners in your state.

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