NABCI's Field Guide to Developing Partnerships
With the loss of 3 billion birds over 50 years, we need broad, impactful partnerships more than ever, to help bird populations recover while supporting other human goals such as water quality and availability, improved human health and community well-being, resilient landscapes, and productive working lands. The Field Guide to Developing Partnerships presents both practical guidance for identifying and developing such partnerships, while serving to encourage and empower bird conservation professionals to look outside of their existing communities to pursue unprecedented partnerships with the potential to implement lasting, positive change for birds and people.
What it Is: The Guide to Developing Partnerships compiles expertise from 40 contributors representing 23 organizations and 13 partnerships, including 8 different Joint Ventures. The Guide provides tips and guidance on how to identify potential partners with common goals, reach out to new partners, and build relationships and develop trust, especially with organizations or individuals whose primary focus is not bird conservation. An Executive Summary provides bulleted suggestions on elements of partnership building, while the full Field Guide offers extensive advice on how to build partnerships based on goals that benefit birds and people, elements of communicating with partners whose culture, values, and goals may differ from yours, and feedback on how to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. The Guide also provides an overview of building relationships with private partners such as corporations, foundations, individuals, and private organizations, and you’ll find many short case studies of successful partnerships built around complementary goals for birds and people. We also offer a partnerships worksheet, designed to guide professionals through the concepts in the Field Guide as these ideas relate to your own projects.
How to Find It: The Field Guide, Executive Summary, and Worksheets are housed on a new Partnerships page on the NABCI website. Download these three documents, or explore the content of each section online: Looking Beyond Birds to Find Partners, Reaching Out and Communicating, Developing Relationships, and Overview of Partnership Opportunities.
Who it’s For: This document is for anyone working on partnerships. Whether you are new to partnership development or have been building collaborations for decades, this Guide offers sound advice and interesting, useful partnership examples. Much of this guide is by and for the Migratory Bird Joint Ventures- we’ve compiled Joint Venture partnership perspectives from across the US to better enable all Joint Venture staff and partners to develop broader, more effective partnerships. This Guide will also be useful to state fish and wildlife agencies as they implement the Relevancy Roadmap and has useful advice for organizations looking to partner across cultures.
Why It’s Important: With the loss of 3 billion birds, a global pandemic encouraging outdoor recreation, and an upswelling of interest in birds and bird conservation, now is the time to embrace creative and productive partnerships that benefit birds and people, reducing competition between bird conservation and human goals and coming together to give strength to our initiatives. This Guide provides the tools and the impetus to do so.
Recommended Citation: North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2021. Field Guide to Developing Partnerships. Washington, DC. 55 pages.