The collaboration structure is supported by:
Each year, the AHA formulates a strategic plan to structure the goals, activities, and action items for the upcoming year. During the planning process, the AHA invites its partnering organizations to submit feedback. Based on feedback from service partners, the AHA adjusts its strategic plan.
The AHA and its partners within the service provider network meet every other month to ensure partners are continuously aware of what each of the others is doing. This allows partner organizations to learn from others’ experience, discuss clients that they may have in common and who may need wrap-around services, identify places where they might work together, and determine if there is any duplication of effort.
The AHA provides a seed grant, or a grant intended to strengthen existing services, to some of its community partners in exchange for benefits offered to AHA customers. These grants are typically funded at around $25,000 per year. For example, the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta offers discounted afterschool and summer programming as well as transportation assistance to youth customers of AHA. In exchange for these benefits, the AHA furnishes a grant that helps offset the costs associated with youth programming. Other organizations with which the AHA forms seed grant agreements include Literacy Action, Inc.,The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, and the YWCA of Metro Atlanta. Partners receiving seed grants are required to outline services that are to be provided and program expectations in exchange for the grant. At the end of the year, the partnering organizations submit a narrative report capturing the scope of services delivered to AHA customers the previous year.
The AHA’s collaboration with area service providers is carefully administered by the AHA; organizations eligible for partnership with the AHA must meet certain criteria before they are invited into the service provider network. Budgets and funding, program goals, prior outcomes, and sustained success over time are attributes that the AHA carefully weighs in the partnering process. Consideration of these and other organizational characteristics allows the AHA to identify organizations with which sustained, collaborative commitments are possible.