Practice #7: Understand the Partnership
Effective community partnerships have agreed upon missions, values, goals, and outcomes that can be written or verbal. Most effective partnerships have written outcomes that are measurable.
A mission statement defines the partnership's purpose. It is a brief description of the fundamental, bottom-line purpose.
A vision statement also defines the partnership's purpose, but does so in terms of the partnership's values rather than bottom-line measures. Values are social principles or standards held by individuals, groups, society, etc. about how things "should" be done. For example PSNC has this vision statement: "Through community engagement and mobilization, PSNC promotes active and sustainable communities with increased capacity to identify and utilize local resources." This simple statement outlines a deep set of values about how work (in this case, community engagement and mobilization) should be done.
Goals are statements outlining what a partnership hopes to accomplish. They are the partnership's desired results expressed in general terms.
Objectives are concrete statements describing what the project will do to achieve its goals. A well-worded objective will be Specific, Measurable, Attainable/achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART).