Community partners and sponsors can be the fuel needed to propel forestry projects, programs, and campaigns, providing financial resources, exposure and additional vehicles for distribution.
How do you do it? Follow these steps, and triple your success…
1. Identify Short List of Partners
- The best partners aren’t always the most obvious
- Don’t always go to like-minded partners – Opposites Attract!
2. Find the Common Ground
- Identify what you have that they could use and benefit.
- What do they have that you need?
- What is your common ground?
- What is the easiest thing for them to say yes to?
- What is on your wish list?
3. Speak the Language Perspective Partners Understand
- Listen to learn rather than listen to respond
4. Go Where They Are
- Find a person(s) who has some decision making power or influence and can be a “champion.” How do you find them? Research, ask and listen
- Personally make the request — with a leave behind or electronic partnership request
- After you sell the partnership — provide the measurements to sustain the relationship
5. Build the Partnership
- Update and communicate
- Acknowledge their contribution
- Chart your success together
These strategies have been successfully implemented surrounding educational urban forestry campaigns across the country, including Kentucky Roots, Roots in Minnesota, The Fit Forest and the award winning Trees Pay Us Back campaign. Trees Pay Us Back was created for Minnesota Arbor Month and the large price tags hung on trees at the Minnesota State Capitol drew international attention.