Potential Allies

Creating local support for your campaign will be key to its success and working with partner groups is one of the best ways to build that support. Consider the list of tips below as you begin outreach to other organizations and consult the allies section of this toolkit for a detailed list of additional partner groups.

Who Can Help

There are many organizations that work to increase access to water in schools. Some are singularly focused on one topic while others look at broader issues. While some groups may not perfectly align with your goals for this campaign, it is still worth reaching out to them, as they may be valuable partners for other programs you are pursuing or some of your long-term organizational goals. Be sure to review the Diverse Audiences section when considering who might be a potential ally.

In your recruitment efforts, make sure to also include organizations that are minority led. Work to ensure you include these groups in true collaboration and engage them throughout the campaign. Simply reaching out to ask an organization to sign a letter of support and not engaging any further is not supporting diversity within your campaign and your campaign will not be as strong as it could be because of that oversight.

Below are some suggestions for potential partners in your community:

  • Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and school districts
  • Local water authorities and companies 
  • School board members
  • Local food policy councils
  • City, county and state public health departments
  • Those committed to increasing access to water
  • School board members
  • Local food policy councils
  • City, county and state public health departments
  • Nonprofit hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Those focused on health and wellness for families with low incomes
  • Those focused on health and wellness for historically under-served communities
  • Local school organizations
  • Groups focused on social justice and civil rights in communities of color
  • Local faith leaders
  • Minority-focused press and media outlets
  • Groups focused on child welfare
  • Groups focused on nutrition education
  • Groups focused on food and water justice
  • Health care providers
  • Environmental advocacy organizations

Although some potential allies will be publicly outspoken about their opinions on your topic, others will be subtler in their approach. Before deciding on any potential partner or opponent, be sure to look at their goals, mission statement, programs, and activities to ensure they align with your priorities.

Key Takeaways

  • Partners can come from a wide variety of backgrounds—from broader faith-based groups to groups solely committed to helping improve the health of children through regular physical activity and/or good nutrition. Cast a wide net to make sure you reach as many potential allies as possible.
  • Make sure you understand your potential allies’ goals, priorities, and programs before engaging with them.