Afterschool and Partnerships

Building Community Partnerships to Support Afterschool Programs:


This is a comprehensive list of tools to help you establish, sustain and evaluate partnerships with a variety of partners. Included is a brief description of each tool and information on how to access it.

Here are three to start with:

Afterschool Investments Project
Creating a Vision for Afterschool Partnerships (PDF)
This publication provides an overview of afterschool partnerships and a step-by-step guide for developing a shared vision for partnerships among afterschool programs and their partners.

Foundation Consortium for California's Children and Youth
What Works Policy Brief: After School Public-Private Partnerships, Winter 2006 (PDF)
Provides real-life examples and characteristics of successful public-private partnerships. Outlines the benefits to afterschool programs, business, government, and private funders. Includes a section dedicated to building partnerships for new afterschool programs

The Finance Project
A Guide to Successful Public-Private Partnerships for Out-of-School Time and Community School Initiatives (PDF)
This guide answers basic questions about public-private partnerships, such as how partnerships are created. Identifies challenges and provides strategies for overcoming those challenges.

Others worth noting:

America's Promise -- The Alliance for Youth
Connecting Communities with Colleges & Universities (PDF)
This is a guide for communities to connect with higher education resources to support children and youth. It contains a special section on strategies for building strong campus-community partnerships.

Arts Education Partnership
Learning Partnerships: Improving Learning in Schools with Arts Partners in the Community (PDF)
This internet-based toolkit covers topic such as:

  • Rationale for establishing partnerships.
  • Characteristics of good partnerships.
  • Resources (publications).
  • Case studies of state and local partnerships, including some involving afterschool programs.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Staying Connected. Chapter 10: Develop Effective Partnerships (PDF)
A step-by-step guide for libraries on how to develop effective partnerships with other organizations. The focus of this toolkit is on identifying and approaching potential partners and on building and maintaining partnerships.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has created a suite of materials to guide clubs in developing and sustaining partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders, including schools, colleges and universities, public housing agencies and youth development programs. Titles include: Boys & Girls Clubs in Public Housing, The School Zone, Clubs Go to College; Places, Spaces and Programming: Unique Partnerships; and Up2Us: The Big Brothers Big Sisters/Boys & Girls Clubs Club-Based Mentoring Program. For more information, contact Perry Cooper, Senior Director, Growth and Collaboration Strategies, at 404-487-5724.

Center for Collaborative Solutions
A Guide to an Effective Community Connection Summit (PDF)
A community connections summit is a way to foster afterschool partnerships by bringing stakeholders together in a structured setting to discuss program needs and identify opportunities for collaboration. This guide provides an overview and step-by-step instructions for planning and facilitating a community connections summit, from forming a leadership committee to identifying participants. It also includes sample materials such as facilitators' guides and evaluation forms.

Corporate Voices for Working Families
The Art of Effective Business & Non-profit Partnerships: Finding the Intersection of Business Need and Social Good (PDF)
This report on cross-sector partnerships explores questions such as why entities collaborate, what are successful collaborations, and what are strategies for overcoming common barriers.

Council of Independent Colleges
Building Partnerships with College Campuses: A Community Perspective (PDF)
Gives a comprehensive overview of elements of effective partnerships with college campuses, including key considerations and real-life examples.

Harvard Family Research Project

"Building and Evaluating Out-of-School Connections," The Evaluation Exchange, Volumes XII Numbers 1 & 2, Fall 2006
This issue of the Evaluation Exchange is dedicated solely to the topic of partnerships with outside institutions to support out-of-school time programming. Includes examples of partnerships, promising practices and current research on the outcomes of such partnerships.

Helping America's Youth
Community Guide to Helping America's Youth
A comprehensive guide to developing community partnerships to support youth. Includes instructions for conducting a needs assessment, fostering youth-adult connections, and building and sustaining community partnerships.

National Collaboration for Youth: National Youth Development Information Center

Partnerships for After-School Success: Community-Based Organization and Local Education Agency/State Education Agency Toolkits
This is a two-part toolkit for establishing and sustaining collaborative partnerships. The Community-Based Organization toolkit includes research on benefits of community based organization-run afterschool, promising practices and sample forms and checklists. The Local Education Agency/State Education Agency Toolkit covers similar areas, with a special focus on how LEAs and SEAs can recruit community-based organizations to be afterschool providers.

San Diego City Schools
Building Reform-Level Partnerships (PDF)
This toolkit provides a menu of suggested partnership activities, organized by focus area and by academic subject. The focus is mainly on the school day, but the activities can be applied to the afterschool hours.

University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Arts Extension Services
Learning Partnerships: Workshop, Planning Workbook and Evaluation Workbook
This workbook includes planning and evaluation tools for developing arts and education partnerships.

Youth Policy Institute

School/Community Partnership Toolkit
Provides a framework and tools to guide community-based organizations and schools in developing partnerships. Specific components include:

  • 7-step framework with worksheets.
  • Case studies from Youth Policy Institute's Valley Family Technology Project.


Center for Collaborative Solutions and Community Network for Youth Development
Exemplary Practices in Afterschool Program Development: Rubrics for Tracking Internal Progress (PDF)
An evaluation rubric that identifies exemplary practice indicators for sustaining partnerships with funders and supporters.

Los Angeles Unified School District, Beyond the Bell Branch

Quality Review for Beyond the Bell Partnerships (PDF)
This is a self-evaluation tool for afterschool program providers who are partners with LAUSD's Beyond the Bell Branch. The focus of this tool is on standards for program design and delivery, as well as relations with school partners.


Center for Collaborative Solutions
Community Network for Youth Development
Foundation Consortium for California's Children and Youth
A Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Afterschool Programs (PDF)
The section on community-wide practices highlights best practices for developing partnerships and for securing sustainable funding.

Learning Point Associates
Beyond the Bell, 3rd Edition: A Toolkit for Creating Effective Afterschool Programs
An entire chapter of this toolkit is devoted to partnerships and collaborations. Corresponding tools include worksheets for finding partners and sample memoranda of understanding. The toolkit comes with CD-ROM, access to members-only section of the Learning Point Associates website and a principal's guide.