Have you ever been interested in working as a MAMFT member with another group, but were unsure how to make that happen? Have you known a group of MAMFT members that wanted to collaborate with another association, but were unsure what was ethical or even possible? The Greater Minnesota Marriage and Family Therapy committee has been there. Our committee’s purpose is to improve meeting the needs of the greater MN MFT members. One of our goals is to increase access for CEU opportunities in the greater Minnesota regions. In order to do this, we thought of partnering with other similar associations, such as joint professional association CEU opportunities. However, we found that we had many questions, were unsure of the process, or even what decisions had to be made.
The conversation of partnering grew into more and more questions, many of which we were unable to answer. This spurred our desire to ask the Board of MFT to help us find out what we can and cannot do when partnering with others. Other partnering considerations began to appear. These considerations include both parties’ IRS tax laws, their mission statements, vision statements, association bylaws, purpose of partnering, and which partner is responsible for what parts of the relationship. It was an avalanche of information we had never thought to consider before. Because of all these areas being involved, along with our desire for growing partnering beyond CEUs, we thought of creating a guide to help us on our way.
The partnering guide incorporates how we can partner and some examples of partnering. Categories of partnering, or types of relationships, include: individuals, venues, agencies, professional associations, for profit associations, schools, etc. Some overall considerations are: How does the purpose fit the MAMFT vision statement? What benefits with each party receive from this partnering? What are the costs or income attributed for each party? How long with this partnership extend? What are ethical considerations for this partnership? Who decides these possible answers, our association or the other party? As you can see, partnering with one category instead of another will mean a difference in how we legally can partner, which activities we can and cannot partake in, income or payments that result from the partnership, and a difference in the benefits we can offer to partnering entities.
Currently, GMN committee is working with the board of MAMFT to create this guide that can inform anyone on who we can partner with, for what purpose, limitations, and the process of partnering. We started from ground zero, so we wrote the guide that way. Even if you have never partnered before, this guide can assist you through the process. It may also be a way to meet additional needs for members that were previously hidden, inaccessible, or just not thought possible.
We are still in the process of creating this guide. The brainstorming process of the categories of relationships, purposes, and considerations will continue. We would like to hear from you to make this guide usable to all members. What MAMFT member needs could this guide help meet? Which regions of Minnesota could benefit from more partnering, and for what purpose? If you have ideas or ways to partner with other groups, please contact us at GMN committee.
Cassandra Brix, M.S.
Greater MN Committee Member