Cultivating Partnerships

Building partnerships and collaborating with a variety of community organizations can yield funding, logistical support, and more for your afterschool program. The information below will help you create a shared vision among potential partners and supporters.

Connecting to Community Resources

Around the country, afterschool programs and low-income housing providers are creating partnerships uniquely positioned to empower children and families with the resources they need to thrive in school and succeed as adults. The Afterschool Alliance actively seeks promising examples of such partnerships to showcase on its national platform. We work to elevate promising practices occurring at the intersection of affordable housing and quality afterschool and summer learning initiatives. See our two Afterschool Snack articles and webinar series listed below, as part of our 2014 "Housing + Quality Afterschool" Series produced in partnership with the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA). 

Housing authorities + quality afterschool: funding a 21st century partnership

Quality afterschool programs that are based in or adjacent to affordable housing communities can guarantee access to a safe and stimulating learning environment for the children of working families who are most in need of such services.

Housing authorities + quality afterschool: a sustainable model for public/private partnership

Local housing authorities represent ideal partners for community-based afterschool providers. Often, housing authorities can provide on-site facilities for afterschool programs, while community-based afterschool providers can offer trained staff and curriculum. A Boys & Girls Club and housing authority in Southern California recently entered into a partnership that continues to reap rewards for the local community.

Housing Authorities & Afterschool: Ideal Community Partners

According to the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), many public housing authorities are involved in providing their residents with out-of-school learning opportunities. By partnering with local afterschool providers who contribute trained staff and curriculum, housing authorities across the country are bringing high-quality afterschool education home to the children and youth they serve.

(April 10, 2014) Accompanying our December 2013 Snack article, featuring a partnership between the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.

Funding Quality Partnerships Between Housing Authorities and Afterschool Programs

By partnering with local afterschool providers who contribute trained staff and curriculum, housing authorities across the country are bringing high-quality afterschool education home to the children and youth they serve. A recent webinar, Housing Authorities & Afterschool: Ideal Community Partners, provided information on establishing and maintaining a housing authority/afterschool partnership.

(July 31, 2014) Companion to our April 2, 2014 Snack article, featuring the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, federal afterschool funding, and the Cleveland Promise Neighborhoods Initiative. 

Social Services Search Tool

Consider connecting with social services to help support your program.

Partnering with Local Businesses

Connecting Business with Afterschool

Learn to bring businesses and afterschool together

Partnerships with businesses can be key to the long-term sustainability of afterschool programs, and businesses have a lot to gain from involvement with afterschool. But businesses get a lot of requests for their time and resources, and afterschool may not be at the top of their list. Plus, businesses that wish to support afterschool may not know how to get involved.

Corporate Voices for Working Families has created a suite of tools to help facilitate the connection between business and afterschool, whether an afterschool program is looking to partner with a business, a business is looking to support an afterschool program, or a business wants to expand their work with afterschool to include advocacy and public awareness. Below are descriptions of the tools that are available.

This toolkit is geared toward afterschool advocates and providers interested in establishing connections and forming partnerships with business. The first section provides an overview of Corporate Voices for Working Families™ second policy statement "After School for All: A Call to Action from the Business Community." The policy statement outlines elements of high-quality afterschool programs and offers policy recommendations from a business perspective. The statement is followed by some basic facts about afterschool in America and some facts about why businesses should care about afterschool, which can help you make the case for the need for and benefits of businesses partnering with afterschool programs.

Key components of this toolkit include some tips from Donna Klein, president and CEO of Corporate Voices for Working Families, on how to approach and engage business leaders and on sustaining those partnerships. Also included are case studies of companies that have supported afterschool programs and afterschool advocates that have successfully partnered with business. Finally, this toolkit provides a list of resources with information on afterschool and working families that can help you make the case for why business should support afterschool.

This toolkit highlights policies and community outreach strategies that businesses can institute to increase public support for afterschool. It gives examples of how businesses can become involved in afterschool programs in their community through partnering with programs, providing volunteers, and making in-kind contributions and donations. In addition, the toolkit gives examples of how businesses can engage in advocacy for afterschool through outreach to media and policymakers, by joining a larger afterschool movement, and participating in events to raise public awareness.

The toolkit provides ideas on where business leaders can find opportunities to get involved with afterschool programs, including tips for finding programs that need help and how to get involved with afterschool locally, through community institutions and national affiliates, and at the state level through state education agencies. Additionally, the toolkit provides suggestions for getting employees involved in afterschool programs as volunteers. Case studies focus on how business groups such as Agilent Technologies, GlaxoSmithKline, and Corporate Voices for Working Families, in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have shown leadership in their involvement with and advocacy for afterschool.

This toolkit focuses on showing business leaders some ways in which they can get involved with afterschool and how they can share ideas with other business leaders. The first section contains the Call to Action and "statement of principles," followed by a fact sheet about afterschool in America that makes the case for why afterschool programs should be available to all who want or need them. Data and statistics covered in the fact sheet include the supply and demand for programs, voter and policymaker support and outcomes and benefits of quality afterschool programs.

A key component of the Business to Business toolkit is the section that explains why business should care about afterschool, specifically, how afterschool is a good investment that affects businesses' bottom lines by supporting families and preparing the workforce of the future. This section includes a survey tool created by the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs that helps businesses assess the afterschool-related needs of their employees. A section titled "Getting Started" provides business leaders with specific ideas of how they can support afterschool -- both through internal business policies and practices, such as helping employees locate afterschool programs for their children, and through outreach and giving to afterschool programs.

Most important, the toolkit provides guidance in sharing the afterschool story with a broader audience. Three case studies highlight businesses that have successfully supported afterschool, and there is a guide for business leaders to share their story of involvement with afterschool, with the public and with fellow business leaders. The toolkit also includes a PowerPoint presentation that business leaders can use to educate their colleagues about quality afterschool programs.

Lights On Afterschool is a great opportunity to raise money for your program or organization. Your event can offer sponsors valuable exposure to the media, to families, and to current and potential customers.

Use this template to draft letters to potential sponsors who may be interested in supporting your Lights On Afterschool event. Personalize your letter with information about your program.

Getting event sponsors can be a great way to help cover the cost of your Lights On Afterschool event. It also gives sponsors a way to show they care about and are involved in the community. Check out our ten tips to get sponsors for your event.