Governments, nonprofits, philanthropies, and businesses all talk about the value of partnering to maximize the impact of their resources. Ironically, in day-to-day life, the ways in which people actually work together often fail to reflect that philosophy of partnership. This article discusses ways to move beyond the buyer-seller relationship often embodied in government and nonprofit contracts, toward shared responsibility for improving public services. It presents a framework of goals, questions, and tools that can help people in government and nonprofit organizations focus on how their work for and with each other can improve public service.
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