Defining Member Roles, Responsibilities, and Rights

Who’s in? Who’s not? What do people and organizations get and give for belonging? How well do they do when they are tasked to work together? These items and more are often lumped together as “governance” in a partnership and can take many forms from unwritten traditions to structured bylaws. Whatever their form, the backbone organization helps leadership within multi-stakeholder partnerships create them, maintain them, and ensure they provide enough structure without inhibiting collaboration. They also provide one of the fundamental prerequisites for fundraising and maintaining alignment as the partnership scales.


We’ve typically seen the backbone organization take on varying levels of coordination when helping partnerships craft governance outlining specific roles and responsibilities for the members within the multi-stakeholder partnership.


  • Agreement management: Helping partners not only make, but also keep their various commitments to each other. “Agreements” may take the form of written agreement (e.g., contract or memorandum of understanding) or something more informal (although we recommend written agreements).
  • Partnership operations: Backbone organizations provide the “glue” that holds together contractual or agreement-based partnerships on a day-to-day basis.
  • Partnership engagement: Keeping the broader/voluntary partners (e.g. those in a Community of Interest and not part of the formal contract) engaged and feeling like they have an active role to play in advancing the common objectives.

That’s not all! Are you looking to build an expansive multi-sector partnership? Do you have an idea, but aren't sure how to execute on it or communicate to potential partners? CollaborateUp wants to help make your co-creation a realityCollaborateUp Academy presents the opportunity for action-oriented social entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs like you to come together and develop the skills needed to tackle the world's most complex challenges. You and your colleagues can attend our upcoming Academy on April 11-12, 2018 to engage with other collaborators and build your network right here in Washington, D.C.!

Register now! 


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The course was great! Great value and great insights into collaborating with various partners in multiple situations. It really change my thought process and how I view situations with our clients and stakeholders. - CollaborateUp Academy Participant
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I soon discovered that it doesn’t really matter whether your introduction to CollaborateUp is through an issue solving workshop, or at an event as Richard brings all the chaos together with his savvy charm and good humour - the most important thing is that you get to engage and work with these great folks! My biggest take out over the past five years of being a part of their world – collaboration is a process and you’re not going to get very far unless you know what problem you’re all trying to solve together. The CollaborateUp framework helps by asking simple questions to help reveal the big answers. - Cate O’Kane, Founder, &co partnership consultancy
The course actually aids with more than just collaboration - it helps drive thinking into issue clarification, meeting handling and setting up, communicating with stakeholders. I loved it! - CollaborateUp Academy Participant
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