Establishing partnerships is critical to your ongoing success. But there are some questions you need to answer in order to establish the right kind of agreement with your potential partner:

How should you go about establishing a partnership with the other organization?

How formal of an agreement do you need to have in order to ensure nothing goes wrong?

How do you determine what’s in it for you and what’s in it for them?

What do you do when things are not going well?



Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) – MOUs refer to a common document document used in many industries but one that will help you establish the agreement on paper so that expectations are clear with your arrangement. We walk you through the key elements and provide you some examples to use as you develop your agreement.

Rescue / Shelter Partnership Agreements – These are a specific type of agreement and one commonly found in the animal welfare industry. We explain the key elements and the key questions to ask as you develop one and provide you links to good examples that are in use in the industry.

Code of Conduct – These types of documents are sometimes embedded in other documents, or developed to stand alone. Codes of conduct are used to specify to volunteers how they should act, and as a part of partnership agreements to ensure it is clear how to act on both sides of the partnership. We explain the focus areas and provide you several examples specific to animal rescue.

Partnership infographic – We’ve summarized and consolidated the steps and pitfalls of an effective partnership into a single infographic.  Feel free to print this out and keep it handy.

There are some great resources that already exist that detail how to build a partnership.  These are produced by national government agencies and go in depth in all of the areas.  Check them out: