From The Intersector Project’s “Research to Practice” series, this article looks closely at scholarly research and highlights key facts, actionable takeaways, and additional resources practitioners can turn to for related guidance.
With 20,000 employees, an impressive 293 million visitors last year, and national park sites in 27 states, the U.S. National Park Service’s work is expansive both in scope and geography. In order to actualize its mission of preserving “the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations,” NPS works with thousands of outside organizations. An article recently published in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, “Structures, Challenges, and Successes of Volunteer Programs Co-managed by Nonprofit and Public Organizations,” takes a close look at successful cross-sector partnerships among NPS and non-profit organizations to co-manage volunteer programs, “a growing, but previously unexamined phenomenon,” at several national park sites including Acadia, Arches and Canyonlands, Cuyahoga Valley, Golden Gate, the National Mall, and Yosemite.
The findings are of interest to individuals and organizations involved in government-non-profit partnerships in the area in land conservation. Takeaways will also be of interest to leaders seeking to begin, expand, improve, or sustain cross-sector partnerships involving government and non-profit partners, as well as supervisors of partnerships involving joint planning, recruiting, cost sharing, use of equipment, logistical arrangements, data gathering, and reporting.