Collaboration Toolkit

« Back to Consider Steps to Get Started

Identify the right partners to help you implement a shared vision

If you followed our tips in the Considering a Collaborative stage, you’ve already had conversations with trusted partners and created list of potential collaborative members. A collaborative should consist of members who have the knowledge, skills, influence and/or ability to act.

Local Level

  • For a local collaborative based on a specific problem or resource, leaders may want to hand pick and limit the membership to a specific group of people. For example:
  • New England Watershed Managers includes managers of 15 large surface water public water supplies.
  • Oregon supports local-level stewardship efforts to address a specific problem by working with decision-makers, land use authorities, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
  • Colorado conducts education and outreach for land use planners.
  • Several collaborative leaders pointed out that it is helpful to include state source water coordinators and other state partners, who can be helpful in identifying tools and resources to address local issues.

State Level

  • Identify state agencies with a role in protecting the resource.
  • Include key local organizations that impact land use decisions, or who are information resources for local land use decisions.
  • For a state collaborative, the state agency leaders should consider the role the state will play and whether a goal is to wean the group away from a primarily state-directed effort to one that involves more ownership by collaborative members.
  • It may be helpful to have different levels of membership (e.g., “members” who vote and “supporters” who don’t vote) to ensure that decision-making is not dominated by people or groups with single narrow objectives.

Regional/Watershed Level

  • At the regional level, leaders may send “blast” invitations that welcome as many people as possible. In this way, the circle of interested and engaged parties can be expanded beyond the “usual suspects.” This approach can also be used for collaboratives at other scales. For large memberships, it can be helpful to create a Steering Committee or working groups to drive action and sustain communications.

Find examples of collaborative members from other SWCs:

Click to download a PDF version of this page

Source Water Collaborative Logo

Sign Up For Email Alerts

Provide us with your email address and we'll notify you based on your preferences.