How Schools Can Benefit from Community Partnerships
Schools experience many benefits by working with community organizations to accomplish projects and programs that support students. Here are ways community partnerships benefit both schools and communities.
By partnering with a community organization you can combine your resources to have a greater impact at a lower cost. Partnerships can broaden your reach beyond your students to other children in the community. Pooling resources, such as staff, volunteers, time, supplies, and space, can help reduce the costs of your programs.
Schools and community organizations with similar goals and programs may be competing with each other for the same grants and funding. By reaching out to community organizations that share your goals, you can partner to write grants. Not only does this increase your odds of funding by eliminating a potential competitor, it also strengthens your grant proposals. Funders favor proposals where collaboration extends the reach and impact of the grant. If a school does not have tax-exempt status, using a community organization as a fiscal agent can widen the school’s eligibility for grants.
Share Strengths and Expertise
Partnerships allow each organization to take the lead on aspects of the project where they have expertise. For example, a school could partner with a community organization to start an after-school program for students. The school may provide a space to hold the program and identify students who would benefit from attending the program, while the community organization reaches out to community members and coordinates volunteers.
Schools that partner with community organizations can also reach out for other needs their school faces. For example, community organizations are useful resources for teachers who want to invite professionals from a particular field to their classrooms to engage students in experiential learning.
Involve Your Community
Outside of school, students are interacting with their community on a daily basis. Making connections in the community gives community members a sense of responsibility and ownership over students’ learning, which leads individuals in taking a more active role in supporting their local schools. It also encourages the entire community to become teachers by contributing their knowledge and expertise to students.
Community partnerships ultimately bring benefits to both the school and the community. Partnering with a community organization increases a program’s impact, strengthens grant proposals, and involves the community in students’ education.