UMass Boston

Partnership Development

Partnership activities can take many forms and intensities.  They can range from one-time special events to ongoing, fully integrated initiatives.  Activities can address primary or secondary needs directly or indirectly and can be specific or holistic in nature.  Some activities are tied to dedicate funding sources with pre-defined objectives while others are unfunded and organically developed.  The most effective partnerships build on existing resources and are closely tied to stakeholder interests and responsibilities.  However, partnerships can also serve as an impetus for securing additional funding as well as creating new programs and infrastructure within the stakeholder institutions.

Best Partnership Practices
Effective and sustainable campus-community partnerships have the following characteristics:

  • Based on and organized around a clear understanding of the shared goal, objectives, strategies, timeline, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Equally benefits all partnering stakeholders.
  • Relationships grounded in trust, mutual respect, clear expectations, and shared decision making.
  • A realistic understanding of each stakeholder’s individual/organizational resources, needs, wants, mission, goals, and limitations.
  • Focused on partner strengths and assets while understanding resource limitations and internal/external threats to the partnership.
  • Integrated assessment and communication loops designed to advance the overall effort.
  • Growth driven by assessment results and continued communication.
  • Seamlessly incorporated into existing interests, responsibilities, and resources.


  • For Faculty Toolkit
  • For Community Partner Toolkit
  • Centering Justice and Care in Community-Engaged Work at UMass Boston

UMass Boston Engage

 Now, for the first time, the university’s partnerships and engagement information is available in one central location—the UMass Boston Engage web portal. This easy-to-use web platform allows users to search for a current UMass Boston engagement activity by subject or partner name, enables the possibility of combining resources for similar projects, and provides organizations an easy way to express their interest in partnering with Boston’s only public research university.

UMass Boston Faculty and Staff

  • Log in using your UMass Boston email credentials and share your work with the world. Be counted along with hundreds of others on campus who are reaching communities through their research, teaching, and service.
  • Browse UMass Boston Engage by subject area or search to find a particu­lar engagement activity or partner.
  • Identify other UMass Boston projects similar to yours and build on existing partnerships.
  • Find faculty with relevant expertise and interests.
  • Locate current connections with partner organizations, and much more.


  • Potential partners: Express your interest in partnering with UMass Boston. Get started by simply providing your contact information and answering a series of guided questions.
  • Search UMass Boston Engage to learn about university resources and available opportunities.
  • Current partners: Identify efforts

Please visit the Additional Reading page located under Resources to the left of this page for a list of helpful resources that contribute to our efforts at UMass Boston and the greater field of university-community partnerships.