Benefits of Using a CPRM to Manage Your Network of Partnerships
The Many Benefits of Using a CPRM…
A Community Partner Relationship Management System allows you to track, manage & leverage your interconnected network of partnerships. Whether you’re a University managing community partnerships, a Government Affairs Department tracking your policy ecosystem, a CPRM offers many benefits for those taking advantage of its features. Here are 7 of the biggest benefits of using a CPRM… though the list just scratches the surface.
Identify Key Players & Influencers.
Members of a network differ in many ways, one being their degree of influence and power. Partners with influence are often important to identify, so their credibility can be leveraged for the entire network. For example, a community coalition advocating for policy change might using a CPRM to identify organizations with influence over policymakers. Once they’re mapped, they can take strategic action to better integrate them into the network to better leverage their influence.
Demonstrate Collective Impact.
It’s now common for nonprofits and public organizations to work together towards shared goals. However it’s difficult to demonstrate the results of these formal and informal partnerships. A CPRM allows you to track and demonstrate progress in numerous ways, including how your network views your success and the degree of disagreement. This information is critical for identifying what’s working, and what can be improved.
Find & Leverage Unknown Resources.
We collaborate with partners because we find value in connections, but that value can take many different forms. Obvious types of value, like funding, volunteers or staff time are first to come to mind. However, less obvious forms of value, like subject matter expertise, lived experiences and software subscriptions, aren’t discovered or mentioned by partners. A CPRM lets you ask members specifically what they bring to the table so all your network can better leverage the value partners provide.
Reduce the Redundancy of Network Ties.
Every network member has a relationship budget – the time and energy that they must allocate to maintain a limited number of partnerships. Picking and choosing which organizations to create connections with is a strategic decision: How can you best reach your goals with the least number of required connections? A CPRM visualizes your connections so you can determine where redundancies exist that you can improve on to reduce your network’s efficiency and build more strategic partnerships.
Attribute Partnerships to Your Relationship-Building Work.
Many networks are the result of concerted efforts by key conveners seeking to build communities of practice. A CPRM allows you to not only visualize your network, but attribute specific relationships and partnerships to your network-building work. Demonstrate your progress to funders and stakeholders and use data to inform and create a richer narrative for your community to share your network story.
Improve Network Communication Flows.
Communication within a network flows from one partner to the other, which can lead to miscommunication or conflict when something goes wrong. The first step to identify communication bottlenecks, gaps and other issues is mapping out how and when partners are working together and communicating in their daily work. From there, you can begin taking intentional action to improve your communication flow.
Develop More Trusting Relationships.
Trust is the foundation of strong, productive partnerships. Using our scientifically validated three-indicator metric, our CPRM provides you with a snapshot of where trust is strong and where it’s lacking in your network of partnerships. Use this information to engage in targeted trust-building activities or to re-arrange your partnerships to take better advantage of pre-existing trust.
7 Benefits of Using a CPRM: The Tip of the Iceberg.
When you cannot see what’s happening within your network and partnerships, it’s impossible to make informed, strategic decision to manage it for growth. Of all the benefits of using a CPRM, the biggest is simple visibility into what you’re really doing. A Community Partner Relationship Management system makes all the difference by providing data that matters when it comes to network strategy-building. Learn more about the benefits of using a CPRM here, or register for an upcoming PARTNER Web Demo here.
About the Author: Alex Derr, M.P.A.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Alex joined VNL in 2017, originally supporting our events. He now helps manages our communications and marketing strategy and content development work. Alex creates blogs, infographics, reports, and other content while managing our web and social media presence. He also runs our email marketing campaigns, tracks analytics, and conducts market research to drive our strategy. He supports our entire team with copywriting, graphic design and research, and helps with events, webinars, demos, and other online learning. When he isn’t at work Alex spends his time climbing 14ers (30 done, 28 to go!) and blogging on his own website, The Next Summit Blog.