The work of sponsors and champions.
Sponsors and champions are distinct roles, each bringing unique benefits to a collaboration. Sponsors, while not usually involved in the day-to-day operations of the collaboration, provide prestige, access to networks, convening power, and can mobilize financial and non-financial resources to support the collaboration. The collaboration may enlist a sponsor to build perceptions of legitimacy and prestige, to develop relationships with constituencies or stakeholders that are key to the collaboration’s goals, or to gain access to additional financial and/or non-financial resources. Champions, who often are involved in the day-to-day operations of the collaboration, typically offer expertise on the issue targeted by the collaboration and/or processes that are critical to the collaboration’s effort. The collaboration may enlist a champion to provide needed expertise, increasing perceptions of credibility among partners and external stakeholders. If the collaboration does not involve sponsors or champions, it misses the opportunity to benefit from the unique influence, resources, and skills that these individuals and organizations provide, ultimately limiting its capacity.