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Cloth  |  $29.95

5.5 x 8.5 inches  | 272 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-9790080-8-5

Paperback  |  $16.95

5.5 x 8.5 inches  |  272 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-9790080-6-1



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In the 21st century, businesses are increasingly faced with complex, "wicked" problems—challenges with social and environmental dimensions they cannot solve on their own. Such problems are especially common in the frontier markets of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eurasia. In many cases, the best solution is to create cross-sector partnerships with organizations from outside the business world—nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, universities, and more. The resulting partnerships can generate business value as well as positive social impact, thereby benefiting companies and communities alike. 

Partner with Purpose by Steve Schmida is a step-by-step guide to planning, launching, managing, and growing cross-sector partnerships, illustrated with vivid real-life stories from the author's work with companies around the world. It explains how to recognize when a cross-sector partnership is the right tool for tackling a business problem, how to find potential partners from beyond the for-profit sphere, and how to develop viable solutions to the wicked problem you face. 

It describes the unique challenges you’ll face, from the differing vocabularies and assumptions employed by nonprofit leaders to the difficulties of reconciling visions among organizations with different values and goals. You’ll learn how the notorious “Valley of Partnership Death” has caused many promising projects to fail, and the four key steps smart leaders employ to survive it; and you’ll learn why internal buy-in is such a crucial factor in the success of any partnership, and the techniques smart managers use to achieve it.


Along the way, you’ll discover a host of powerful tools that can help you organize, govern, monitor, and measure the effectiveness of your partnership initiative, including the Project Concept Paper, the Partnership Scorecard, and more. Finally, you’ll learn how successful partnerships can be brought to scale, creating sustainable solutions that can generate impressive economic value for years to come while benefiting society and the environment.

Today more than ever, business leaders are required to combine the quest for profit with social and environmental responsibility. For such leaders, Partner with Purpose is an essential source.

“Schmida does a superb job of covering all aspects of partnerships: examining types, identifying high-potential ones, forging and managing a collaboration (including a seven-step process), securing commitments, effectively structuring an alliance, negotiating, and writing agreements.  Authoritative, all-encompassing, and richly detailed; a highly valuable partnership playbook.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Unlike many business books, this one isn't selling a method, a service, or other products; it is simply a thorough and practical work that knows its audience very well. This valuable guide is both a spirited entreaty and practical road map for powerful collaborations between businesses and mission-driven organizations. Takeaway: This highly practical guide will light the way for business owners and corporate executives seeking cross-sector partnerships."—BookLife Reviews (Editor’s Pick)


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Steve Schmida is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Resonance, an award-winning global development and corporate sustainability consulting firm with more than 100 consultants and offices in Vermont, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Manila. Resonance clients include Fortune 500 companies, international donor agencies, and leading nonprofits and foundations.

For two decades, Schmida has been at the forefront of corporate sustainability and global development, helping clients develop cross-sector partnerships to tackle wicked problems from climate change to human trafficking.

Schmida sits on the Leadership Group of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) and on the Sustainable Innovation Executive Council of the Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont. Fluent in Russian, he holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Vermont with his wife, Nazgul (who is CEO of Resonance), and their two children.