Tips for Building Partnerships for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Below are some tips and ideas on how to build partnerships with other organizations for your National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event or activity. Creating a partnership will give you access to resources that may not be available through your own organization. Collaborating with another organization may also help you reach more people and gain greater media attention. For example, an organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS may want to partner with a local hospital to offer free screenings. Partners can help you publicize your event, provide an event venue, offer additional HIV/AIDS resources, disseminate information and provide volunteers at your event. Here are some organizations you may want to consider reaching out to:

Hospitals: Hospitals can be used as the location for your free blood tests and can share additional resources with your participants. They may also be able to donate materials needed to hold free blood tests, such as rubber exam gloves, needles, nurses, etc.

Research foundations: Research foundations can be a great resource for materials on HIV/AIDS. They may be able to provide brochures or be willing to set up a booth at your event with information about their research.

Retail stores: Retail stores are a great place to help promote your event by displaying posters, especially if they cater to the female audience. They can also distribute materials and include a link on their Web site.

Health insurance companies: Insurance companies can assist you in hosting screening events at community clinics or other locations that provide health screenings. They can also disseminate information to doctor offices in your area. Donations of supplies may also be an option.

Associations/organizations: Associations and organizations that specifically target women can help promote National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in their publications (i.e. newsletters, listserv, Web site, etc.).

Local businesses: Local businesses are always looking to give back to the community and may be interested in holding events at their offices, providing staff to volunteer at your event or offering financial support. They may also have publications that can promote your National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event. Or, if they are interested in holding a lunch 'n' learn seminar for employees, offer to have someone from your organization be a speaker.

Local colleges and universities: Colleges and universities, especially those affiliated with medical or public health degree programs, have student organizations that look for opportunities to work with the local community on health-related events and issues. Student organizations can provide a venue for your event and may be willing to support your event with volunteer staff. They may also be willing to promote your event through student and community networks.

How Do I Find Organizations in My Community to Partner With?

Go online and do some research! You can also check your local newspapers for organizations that are holding events similar to the event that you want to hold. Or ask coworkers if they have contacts outside of your organization that may be interested. Attending conferences and fairs to gauge what other organizations are in your community is another idea.

How Do I Reach Out to Other Organizations?

Once you have done some research and identified organizations in your community to team up with for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it's time to reach out to them. Find contact information on their Web site or in the phone book and give them a call or send a letter or e-mail explaining why they should be a part of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Mention your event and why you think they would fit as a partner (refer back to the possible partner's mission statement, past activity, etc.). Following-up with a phone call is essential.

If the organization expresses interest, set up a call or face-to-face meeting to discuss the possibilities. Make sure you have some ideas already thought out and don't forget to provide background about you/your organization and a fact sheet about the event and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to educate the potential partner on the mission and objective of the partnership. Remember, this is a mutual partnership, so both organizations should be benefiting from the relationship.

Once an agreement has been made, keep clear communication as the event approaches. Monthly, weekly, or daily phone calls, emails, and/or meetings should be arranged to make sure all tasks are completed and everyone is on the same page.

Once the event is over, make sure you thank your partner and keep the door open for future partnership opportunities (if all goes well!).