Collaboration Toolkit

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Identify common ground among your partners

Why identify common ground?

  • A short list of common values, goals, or approaches can generate motivation to work together, even among non-traditional partners.
  • Recognition of common goals, mutual benefit, overlapping priority areas or target audiences can increase effectiveness, leverage limited resources, and generate efficiencies for each organization.
  • Thinking about your water concerns from the perspective of a potential partner might generate some new ideas for potential solutions, and can help you identify benefits that might motivate others to protect a community’s water supply.

Some tips for considering what you might have in common:

  • Take a look at your potential partner’s website. What do their mission statement, projects, press releases, or leadership statements identify as their top priorities?
  • Look for win-win approaches that provide multiple benefits for your organization and your potential partner organizations.
  • Check these areas for similarities or complementary approaches:
    • Target audiences.
    • Priority geographic areas.
    • Water quality or quantity concerns.
    • Key decision makers.
    • Voluntary or regulatory approaches.

Consider showing key information in a graphic. Below is an example of a handout used by the National Source Water Collaborative to illustrate common ground with state agricultural leaders, in this case conservation districts. The graphic also highlights what each brings to water quality protection efforts.

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collaboration image

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