When Spider Webs Unite: Partnerships

January 30, 2013
by Lisa Marchal, Global Grassroots Associate

We talk a lot about building partnerships in our communities as part of our RESULTS work, but what does that mean? What does that look like?

Partnerships can take many forms and be created for a variety of outcomes. It could be that your RESULTS group would like to be part of an on-going network on like-minded organizations, or you might want to form an alliance for bigger attendance at a meeting with a member of Congress. You could even partner with others to execute a special outreach event. But whatever form they take, partnership efforts allow you to amplify your advocacy voice and make a bigger, more lasting “footprint” in your community.

There is an Ethiopian proverb that states, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” Have you reached out to create your web? It could be that the group you’ve thought about contacting is just waiting for the chance to work with you and RESULTS.

Brainstorm the organizations who might be looking for you. For example, if you work on global poverty, you might already know that, in our volunteer ranks, we have folks who also have a relationship with Shot@Life, a group of advocates who focus specifically on vaccines for young children. (By the way, check out their homepage to see a video featuring our own Cindy Changyit Levin and Ellen Marshall!) Could you do some detective work on their website and find a local contact?

Or if you work on domestic poverty, have you reached out to the local chapter of the National Head Start Association? Adults who are invested in the success and sustainability of Head Start are likely to rejoice in knowing there are others in their town who care about it, too. You might be able to bring an advocacy opportunity to them that they hadn’t known was available to them.

Additionally, leadership from the ONE Campaign has specifically reached out to us, noting that their regional field directors would welcome a call from any of our groups working on global poverty, should they want to partner. Here’s a contact list to get you started:

ONE Campaign Regional Field Directors and Additional Organizing Staff

  • Northwest/Rocky Mountains: Jonathan Young, (202) 536-7386
  • West Coast/Southwest: Michael Salamon, (202) 468-2695
  • Plain States: Libby Crimmings, (515) 344-8168
  • South Central: Mike Hogan, (254) 498-8232
  • Upper Midwest/Great Lakes: Tzviatko Chiderov, (202) 957-3149
  • Mid-south/Southeast: Abby Sasser, (202) 365-7942
  • Mid-Atlantic: Ranna Armstrong, (202) 360-5209
  • Northeast: Brian Sweeney, (717) 644-3034
  • Faith Mobilization Manager: Marissa Vertrees, (202) 330-3503
  • Senior Manager, College and Young Adult Organizing: Matt Higginson, (702) 340-7535

Who else might be out there? Grab a cup of coffee and do a quick brainstorm. Then make a call. What are you waiting for? Build that web!

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