Connections and Resources
The National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) refers to partnerships as “how Extension collaborates to leverage resources for collective impact.” The planning process addressed the types and degrees of partnerships. Partnerships influence connections and resources.
Partnerships are critical to Extension’s success when missions are aligned, roles are distinct, reciprocal resources are leveraged, and impacts are shared. Partnerships support programming and communications. In urban communities, the number, size, and scope of the partnerships amplify both opportunities and challenges. Urban areas have a wealth of organizations and agencies to partner with, but it can be challenging to efficiently navigate. Rather than competing for the same funds or audiences, collaborative efforts can make real impact in communities throughout urban counties. Extension excels at county, state, and federal partnerships. In urban counties, strategies to support city partnerships add value. For example, six of Ohio’s cities are larger than the population of 68 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Cities often have shared interests with counties and can provide different funding streams.Across Ohio personnel are funded through local, state, and national funding. Grants, such as community nutrition programs, support additional personnel. In addition, a diversified funding portfolio supports local priorities. The number and types of Extension positions in large Ohio counties varies. Each metropolitan area presents unique context and history of Extension investments. Generally, the team size is larger and more diverse in many ways.
Expand the types and degrees of partnerships, funding and other resources leveraged.
1. Create and share an inventory of urban partnerships to include type, purpose, duration, relationship exchange, etc. Include points of pride and lessons learned.
2. Expand partnerships through strategic portfolio development that builds on inventory analysis and local, state, and national strategy.
3. Support a functional structure for connecting local issues and partnership opportunities.
4. Improve external partner capacity by building urban advocates.