- Partnering with Nationals

Partners International
Sample Cooperation Agreement

Partners International (PI) has over 50 years experience in partnering with non-Western, grassroots, missions organizations. They work together with partners to develop a written document of which both approve. The agreement describes the objectives of the partnership, and what each partner is expected to do. Though mutual trust is in many ways more important than anything on paper, they find that having a written agreement is very helpful to focus the partnership and prevent misunderstanding. The process of developing the agreement is in itself a relationship-building exercise.

Below is a sample of this type of agreement. Those considering entering into a partnership, whether large or small, should be able to learn something from this example. The actual text can then be modified to fit the need of the user. The agreement is shown to give you an example of how partners can identify and clarify expectations and commitments.

between Partner Ministry and Partners International

We believe that God has led Partners International of San Jose, California, U.S.A., and (Partner Ministry Name) of (City, Country) to work cooperatively for the advancement of the gospel.

This agreement is not a legal contract. It is a way to make expectations clear between us so that we can work together effectively. The duration of this agreement is from (beginning date) to (end date). It can be renewed for another term if both partners agree. It may also be terminated at an earlier date at the request of either partner.

  1. Partners International will assist with the following activities (projects and/or worker support) of the ministry of (Partner Ministry Name):

  2. Partners International will assist in the following ways:

  3. The goals of the of the activities (listed in Question #1) are: Please give specific details, including numbers and time periods.

  4. (Partner Ministry Name) will be taking the following steps (operational plans) during the time period covered by this agreement to reach these goals: Please give specific details, including numbers and time periods.
Principles of This Agreement
  1. A partnership relationship must be built on mutual respect and trust. Written understandings help the partnership to be clear and effective, but written understandings alone are not sufficient if the underlying relationship is not strong. Partners International and (Partner Ministry Name) will seek to uphold these foundational principles in building and preserving the relationship with one another:

  2. Partners International and (Partner Ministry Name) will cooperate on the activities covered by this agreement, which by Godís grace will enable us both to better achieve our common ministry goals.  As we work cooperatively, Partners International and (Partner Ministry Name) will remain organizationally independent of each other. We will not interfere in the administration of each otherís ministry, but encourage each other to follow Godís leading as each of us understand it.

  3. Partners International enters into partnerships with the board of an indigenous ministry, and not with individuals.  It is expected that the board will be informed, involved, and responsible for the work.  Funds shall be transferred through a method mutually agreed upon with the board, and shall be used in ways that are consistent with the intention of the donors.

  4. Partners International desires to assist ministries that have clear, measurable and achievable goals; policies and procedures adequate to guide their staffs; the necessary personnel to accomplish their goals; local credibility with the Christian community in their home areas; and past performance that demonstrates the ability to meet their commitments. The same should be expected of Partners International by the ministries.

  5. The same should be expected of Partners International by the ministries.

  6. Partners International and (Partner Ministry Name) recognize that the financial participation of Partners is not intended to be permanent, and that renewal of this agreement is not assured. (Partner Ministry Name) is encouraged to increasingly seek local funding, preparing for the time when Partners is no longer financially involved in its ministry.
Expectations of This Agreement

Partners International

  1. Partners International will promote (Partner Ministry Name) in the countries where Partners International has associated councils (Australia, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States, plus developing councils in Korea, South Africa and Singapore).

  2. Partners International will need to share about (Partner Ministry Name) in order to raise funds and other resources for it, but this will be done in ways that make it clear that (Partner Ministry Name) is not under the supervision or control of Partners International.

  3. If (Partner Ministry Name) works in a country where a normal flow of information about the ministry may be dangerous to ministry workers or projects, Partners Internationalís promotions will follow the security guidelines provided by or negotiated with the ministry.

  4. Partners International will maintain separate accounts so that it is clear how much has been given by donors for the work of (Partner Ministry Name).

  5. Partners Internationalís regional coordinator is recognized as the authorized representative in all relations with (Partner Ministry Name).

(Partner Ministry Name)

  1. Selected workers of (Partner Ministry Name) may be enrolled in the Partners International sponsorship program in order to raise monthly worker support. Funds raised in this method are intended to help meet the worker support needs of the ministry overall, not just the workers in the sponsorship program. The sponsorship funds are to be allocated by the ministry board in ways that are consistent with the overall ministry needs and with the intention of the donors. (Partner Ministry Name) will provide the following for each worker in the sponsorship program:

  2. In addition to the worker reports described above, Partners International may be supporting ministry projects. (Partner Ministry Name) will provide at least two reports per year (October and March) for each supported project. Sometimes additional reports may be requested for projects for which there is a lot of activity.

  3. All ministry projects for which (Partner Ministry Name) desires to request funding from Partners International are to be documented on the Project Request Application form and forwarded to the regional coordinator. (Partner Ministry Name) shall not obligate Partners International for funding any project without previous written agreement.

  4. (Partner Ministry Name) will provide Partners International with audited financial statements no later than six months after the end of its fiscal year. If (Partner Ministry Name) received US$20,000 or more during its fiscal year from Partners International, the audit must be conducted by an independent, CPA-equivalent auditor. The audited financial statements shall include a list of donations received from Partners International that agrees with the income and expense statement. Partners will provide an example that will help to show all that is expected in the financial statements.

  5. Partners International may conduct an informal financial review of the financial records at the headquarters of (Partner Ministry Name), normally not more than once every two years.  During the review, (Partner Ministry Name) will make all necessary financial records available.  Partners will provide notification of any such review no less than sixty days in advance.

  6. If (Partner Ministry Name) promotes its ministry directly (not through Partners International) in the countries (listed above) where Partners International has associated councils, this can confuse donors and damage the credibility of both (Partner Ministry Name) and Partners International. (Partner Ministry Name) will coordinate in advance with Partners International before doing any direct promotion in these countries.

  7. (Partner Ministry Name) will actively seek local funding for its ministry, with a goal of increasing the percentage of funds raised locally year by year.

The undersigned concur with this Agreement. The undersigned also agree with the following Statement of Faith without reservation.
(Partner Ministry Name)
Chairman of the Board

Partners International
(Ministry Leaderís Name)      (Title)
(Partner Ministry Name)

Click here for sample statement of faith.   WEF STATEMENT OF FAITH

From Partners International Revised 12-98

Partnerships: Field-Based |<> Nationals |<> Church/Agency

Cooperation: Networking | Partnerships | Church<> Planting

AGP: Introduction | Adoption | Cooperation | Individual<> Involvement | Resources