Successful Outreach Partnerships

The right partners can be an incredible boost to an outreach campaign - helping to provide content expertise, rallying key audiences, and delivering solution-based results. The following chart identifies some important characteristics Outreach Extensions (OE) considers when selecting campaign partners. We then provide examples of campaigns, partners selected, and how they worked with us to achieve important outcomes.

Building Outreach Partnerships

In building its campaigns, Outreach Extensions establishes relationships with national strategic outreach partners that can assist the campaign in reaching and engaging key target audiences. Public television stations and their local partners may also be invited to advise the national campaign. Depending on their level of involvement, selected partners are asked to sign Memos of Understanding to summarize their individualized plans, resources, and responsibilities; this also establishes expectations for performance.

Partners support the outreach campaign in diverse ways:  help to define campaign issues, advise the campaign on effective engagement strategies, report research, create ancillary materials and/or make existing resources available to engage audiences, host screenings and events, conduct workshops and trainings, and disseminate materials. All partners help to promote and build awareness for the campaign and the broadcast of the documentary or series with which the campaign is associated.

Outreach Extensions allows sufficient time to cultivate partnerships and build trust. We want them to feel comfortable and to be forthcoming about how they can participate in the campaign. Understanding their mission and work enables us to construct appropriate activities for their engagement. In addition, we make sure they are involved in meaningful activities that are directed toward a real community need or gap in services. We educate partners about how media works and advise them on how they can leverage media as a strategic opportunity for their organizations. Throughout the campaign, Outreach Extensions keeps partners informed. We maintain an ongoing dialogue that lets them know what is happening, allows them to make necessary decisions, and informs them about new opportunities. Finally, partners help to build local stakeholders who can sustain the project’s activities after the media phase is completed.

Partner Characteristics

The following chart identifies some important characteristics Outreach Extensions (OE) considers when selecting campaign partners. We then provide examples of campaigns, partners selected, and how they worked with us to achieve important outcomes. Following the chart are ten tips to help you build successful partnerships.

Sustainable, evergreen usage; Access to vital outreach audiences

To Serve This Present Age: Reentering Through Faith; Omar & Pete

OE developed a relationship with the BOP to reach correctional departments that help to prepare prisoners for their return to society. In collaboration with NAFJ, the Reentry Campaign's outreach video To Serve This Present Age was disseminated within the BOP (10,000 copies). The DVD includes selected excerpts of OMAR & PETE along with its discussion guide. The OMAR & PETE excerpts were presented as a case study to accompany To Serve This Present Age as a way to extend its distribution and utilization by the faith community, especially in relationship to NAFJ faith-based training. NAFJ is distributing 15,000 copies.


Bureau of Prisons (BOP); National Alliance of Faith and Justice (NAFJ)
The mission of NAFJ is to promote the value of inclusion of faith in addressing the prevention, consequences, and resolutions of crime with emphasis upon its impact on African Americans and other people of color in society.

Solution-based activity; National event to reach constituencies


Wanda Collins-Jackson, one of the family members in LEGACY, was the keynote speaker for the annual conference of AHHAP in April 2002. Legacy of Community Action, produced by Tod Lending for outreach use, was distributed to all 1,500 AHHAP facilities along with a set of discussion questions to assist individuals in recovery.


Association of Halfway House Alcoholism Programs of North America, Inc. (AHHAP)
AHHAP was organized in 1966. Member residential facilities provide long-term recovery services.

Access to key local partners; Flexible

Aging Out

JCYOI was both a funder and content partner for the AGING OUT campaign. 20 outreach grants partnered public television stations with key local/statewide foster care organizations designated by JCYOI. While all AGING OUT projects focused on youth transitioning from care as they reached adulthood, each project was able to address local issues in an effort to improve outcomes for youth. JCYOI also had to be flexible in adjusting the outreach campaign when one of the youth in the film was murdered.


Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (JCYOI)
JCYOI is a national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood.

Visionary; Legislative alliances


OE approached GU to assist the outreach campaign in achieving federal legislation related to issues presented in LEGACY. After researching these issues, GU recommended legislation on safe and affordable housing for grandparents and other relatives rearing children. GU worked with legislators (House and Senate) to educate them about needs that could be addressed by legislation. In December 2003, the LEGACY legislation was signed into law as part of the American Dream Downpayment Bill. The appropriations bill for Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, including $4 million for LEGACY housing demonstrations, was authorized on November 30, 2005.


Generations United (GU) Supported by more than 100 national and local organizations
GU is the only national membership organization focused solely on promoting intergenerational strategies, programs, and policies.

Ability to leverage media as a strategic opportunity

Take this Heart

CWLA partnered with OE to create the Take This Heart Community Foster Care Package. It featured a facilitator's guide along with the video Searching for Family, which had been reversioned from the TAKE THIS HEART documentary. The Community Foster Care Package was used by CWLA in orientations and training for 2,500 child welfare practitioners over a two-year period.


Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
The nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, CWLA has more than 1,100 public and private nonprofit agencies are members.

Acknowledged expertise in the field; Strategic alliances to support distribution

Outside The Walls: A National Snapshot of Community Based Prisoner Reentry Programs

OE contacted the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center, which had expertise in the field of prisoner reentry. Urban helped to define the Reentry Campaign's six issues, authored position papers, and identified/wrote up 100 successful reentry programs. In addition, Urban advised OE on the production of its outreach video (23 programs) and brought the Council of State Governments (CSG) into the project. CSG used its contacts, including the Department of Justice, to add important voices to the video. The Outside the Walls resource guide, video, and DVD continue to be widely distributed to a range of users.


Urban Institute (Urban)
Based in Washington, D.C., Urban is a nonpartisan policy research and educational organization established to examine the social, economic, and governance problems facing the nation. It provides information and analysis to public and private decision makers and strives to increase citizen understanding.

Willingness to share existing resource materials; Linkage to institutional mission

American Family - Journey of Dreams

NAHH was one of the primary partners for the new AMERICAN FAMILY - JOURNEY OF DREAMS series. Viewing its participation as mission-related, NAHH provided 15,000 copies of its My Baby's Immunization Book/Las Vacunas de mi Bebe for distribution by 58 participating public television stations at health fairs and other health events. NAHH also developed bilingual fact sheets and used the campaign to promote its Su Familia Helpline.


National Alliance of Hispanic Health (NAHH)
NAHH is the foremost national resource on Hispanic health issues and the nation's oldest and largest network of Hispanic health and human service providers.

Strategic content provider; Willing to alter own plans to support collaboration with a media campaign

American Family - Journey of Dreams

LCAT was another premier health partner for AMERICAN FAMILY - JOURNEY OF DREAMS. The organization was already working on its own pamphlet on smoking prevention for Latino families. LCAT readily altered its plans to partner with AMERICAN FAMILY to co-produce/co-brand a brochure, "Two Things Your Family Should Know About Smoking." 25,000 copies were distributed by the outreach campaign.


National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention (LCAT)
LCAT is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to preventing tobacco use and alcohol abuse in the Latino community.

Constructs and achieves measurable impacts

Why Can’t We Be A Family Again?

OE received a grant from The Hite Foundation to conduct a campaign in association with WHY CAN'T WE BE A FAMILY AGAIN? Nine stations engaged social work practitioners, students, and educators, with a focus on permanency planning as required by the funder. Stations conducted follow-up to make sure that the film and discussion questions were used by their local outreach partners in undergraduate and graduate level college courses in social work.


Barbara Pine; University of Connecticut; Anthony Maluccio; Boston College; Generations United; Veritas Therapeutic Community, Inc.

Stable, capable staff with time allocated to campaign

This Far By Faith / Faith Into Action

THIS FAR BY FAITH is a six-hour history of the African-American religious experience. Working in collaboration with ITC, OE designed the outreach campaign, called Faith Into Action, and produced media resources on contemporary issues of social ministry: a 150-page Faith Into Action Resource Guide and 90-minute Faith Into Action videotape. Conducted by ITC staff, including its president, Faith Into Action workshops in 18 cities engaged diverse participants: clergy, lay leaders, and community stakeholders.


Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)
Founded in 1958, the ITC is the nation's leading African-American center of graduate theological education and religious training. It is a member of the largest historically black educational consortium in the world.

Willingness to be evaluated

This Far By Faith / Faith Into Action

As a part of its ongoing development of the Making Connections Media Outreach Initiative, OE asked Applied Research & Consulting (ARC) to conduct an evaluation at one of the 18 Faith Into Action workshop sites. 11 focus group participants were recruited from approximately 40 attendees of the original workshop held at KLRN. Among the findings by ARC were:
KLRN did an excellent job in bringing together leaders from a wide range of congregations and grassroots community organizations for a highly energetic and challenging day of presentations and discussions. The workshop effectively introduced community groups to how media can be used in many different ways in faith-based social work.


KLRN, San Antonio, TX
Public television station