What is Partnership?

Many of us are allergic to business jargon. Nothing can make people start itching faster than sitting in a meeting and hearing words like “strategy,” “assessment,” or — horror of horrors — “best practice methodology.”

“Partnership” can be one of those abstract business-like words that make our eyes glaze over. The word has been used to mean a lot of things to a lot of people until it hardly means anything to anyone. What is partnership?

what is partnership

Partnership is at the center of what we do at Compassion. We not only partner with you, our sponsors and donors, but also with the local church around the world. So it’s worth understanding what we mean by partnership and how we do it.

The word “partnership” is derived from the Latin word for “portion.” In partnership, we share a portion with each other.

what is partnership portion

Partnership should achieve a vision that is mutually desired and that cannot be achieved by any one partner alone. It is not simply having tea together. It is having tea in order to work together on something that you both care about and can’t do alone.

With this in mind, this is how we define partnership:

“A Compassion partnership is a collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship between Compassion and another entity for the purpose of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name beyond the capacity of either partner individually.”

Our definition is based on three things:

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  1. A common mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. This is the only purpose for which we will enter into partnerships.
  2. A collaborative relationship. Both parties must actively build relationship with each other and cooperate willingly on the mission.
  3. Mutual respect and mutual benefit. We recognize that we need one another to accomplish the mission.

And based on these three things, we have developed a set of principles that guide us toward healthy, God-honoring partnerships.

They apply to our relationships with you and our supporting church partners; they apply to strategic ministry relationships; and they apply to our implementing church partners.

Partnership Is Founded Upon Our Identity in Christ.

In Christ we are one body with many parts. Each part offers unique service and is equally important to the health of the body. Each partner, irrespective of size, power or resources, is valued. No partner is viewed as more important than the other. This can be achieved only if we are committed to the attitude of Christ and “having the same love … and in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:2-3).

Partnership Seeks Mutually Respectful and Beneficial Relationships

No partner should use the other for its own goals, but should develop genuine, mutually respectful, and beneficial relationships. A partner does not lord over or “do mission” for the other. Rather, a partner seeks to help, empower and serve the other to enrich their shared ministry.

We give priority to relationships over tasks and projects. When relationships empower, rather than impose agendas, all partners are transformed in the process.

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Partnership Accepts Mutual Responsibility and Commitment

Partnership takes the commitments made to one another with utmost seriousness and works in collaboration, without dominance, exploitation or condescension.

Increased trust is built through partners being accountable to each other, ensuring that their words and actions are consistent. Partnership requires an enduring commitment to not only the common vision but also to each other.

Partnership Produces Visible Transformation and Outcomes

Partnership does not exist as an end in itself. It exists for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God further, better and/or faster than either party could do alone.

For us, partnership exists for the shared goal of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. The essence of partnership is that one plus one equals more than two. We enter into partnerships in order to do something we cannot do alone or that we can do better together.

“A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, and some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself.

That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world.” Henri J. Nouwen, The Mosaic That Shows Us the Face of God

At Compassion, we are deeply honored to be part of the thousands of little stones that God is using to build a beautiful mosaic. Together we are telling a story that none of us could tell by ourselves.

Through our commitment to and relationship with one another, we are revealing the face of God to the world and advancing His kingdom by releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

This post was originally published on January 28th, 2012.

18 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    Lupembe Presbyterian Church September 26, 2020

    We are the Lupembe Presbyterian Church in Malawi in Karonga district. We would like to have a congregation to partner with.

    1. Taryn
      Taryn September 28, 2020

      Hello Lupembe, we would be happy to speak with you further. Would you please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com? Thank you!

  2. Avatar
    stephen okurut September 1, 2020

    we have orphanage which just started in 2019 of November we are registered in Uganda as community based organization we have 40 orphans that the community was raising the fund but since the lock-down we have had challenge its at this point that we are writing to your office for more information or application forms

    1. Taryn
      Taryn September 1, 2020

      Hello Stephen, thank you for reaching out to us. Thank you for blessing the orphans in your community during this challenging time. Would you please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com? We are able to answer your specific questions there. ~Taryn

  3. Avatar
    Green hope Share August 31, 2020

    we are a faith based organisation.currently registered non profit organisation in Zambia providing services to orphan and vulnerable children ,youths and marginalised people in communities .
    We are requesting possible partnership with you.

    1. Taryn
      Taryn September 1, 2020

      Hello Green Hope Share, thank you for reaching out to us! We appreciate your heart for Zambia and congratulations on your recent beginning! For partnership inquiries, I see that you have already emailed us at socialmedia@compassion.com. We would be happy to answer your questions there. ~Taryn

  4. Avatar
    Peter Mumo mulingata July 11, 2019

    Hello brethren
    Hope all well with you,I first congratulate you for great work are doing for the body of Christ.

    I am a pastor working with HHAMI ministries(His Hand for Africa Ministries International. Am in kitui mbitini Kenya.

    Have been strangling help poor children get education and food.
    How can I partner with you for this vision to be realized?
    Thanks for your attention
    Yours in the lord’s vineyard.
    Peter Mumo mulingata

    1. Sarah
      Sarah July 12, 2019

      Peter, please email us at socialmedia@compassion.com for more information on partnership. Thank you!

  5. Avatar
    Geofrey Jackson June 5, 2019

    My name is Geofrey Jackson from Dar Es Salaam Tanzania. I am a teacher by profession. I would like to join your Organization and serve the orphanage individuals in the world and I am ready to go anywhere on the earth as a messenger to serve these individuals. I will be much happier being part and parcel of the organization so as to serve these orphans.
    Thank you.

    1. Sarah
      Sarah June 6, 2019

      Geofrey, thank you so much for your interest in partnering with Compassion. Please email us at socialmedia@compassion.com for more information on partnership.

  6. Avatar
    Ntiganzwa sekibibi Appolinaire May 11, 2019

    I,m glad the way you make impact in the world , this is a great vision . to bring hope for the future . I wish i can have partnership with you , i ‘m pastor in the rural area East province of Rwanda. God bless you .

    Pastor Appolinaire

  7. Avatar
    Edward Wallace March 13, 2019

    My heart beat is to be a solution to children’s problem. there are children in my community that need an urgent help pls come to our aid

    1. Christina
      Christina March 13, 2019

      Edward, we greatly appreciate your desire to help those in need in your community. Please email socialmedia@compassion.com for more information on the possibility of receiving assistance. Thank you!

  8. Avatar
    Peter bright May 10, 2017

    Dear in Christ,
    My concern is to work effectively with you in sustaining vulnerable through education and projects related to income generation in supporting people in needs.As I have established a church, and running a day care center, I ask to partner with you so that God’s passion may display to people in our communities.
    Pastor Peter Bright
    Jesus Kingdom Ministry
    Dar es salaam
    Tanzania,East Africa

    1. Christina Wilson
      Christina Wilson May 11, 2017

      Hi Peter! I love your heart for the people in your community! Thank you so much for your desire to help those in need, and we appreciate you reaching out to us. We would love to speak with you more about potential partnership. Will you please email us at socialmedia@compassion.com. Thank you!

  9. Avatar
    Edison T.Sworh September 12, 2015

    Congratulation for your work.
    May the Lord bless you more.

  10. Sarah
    Sarah September 8, 2015

    Hi Johnson! Please email ciinfo@us.ci.org to inquire about partnering with Compassion for your children in Haiti.

  11. Avatar
    Charles Specht January 28, 2012

    We throw the word “partnership” around so often, but I don’t think we use it often in its true sense. Too often we use the word with the idea of “some long as I get out of it what I’m hoping for” and mask it as “partnership.”

    That’s why I’m glad Compassion uses (and lives it out) the term in its truest sense. Thanks for your passion!

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