To be sustainable, we encourage community projects to have a strong sense of the purpose and mission driving their work, so that they may identify strong partnerships. These partnerships should fill in resource gaps and have a stake in the long-term viability of the project.


Whether it is a collection of archival materials or a digital exhibition, consider the stewardship of your content over time. One way to reduce the burden of this work is to be laser-focused on what is in scope and what is out of scope for your project, allowing you and your collaborators to focus on what is worthy of your time investment.

Learn basic principles for mapping out the best way to build your collection in this webinar with John Gartrell, Director, John Hope Franklin Research Center for African & African American History and Culture at Duke University Libraries.


As projects and small organizations look for funders or collaborators, they benefit greatly from knowing who they are (1) and what they need to achieve success. Our experience as a team at University Libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill in matching ourselves (2) and other academic libraries with community organizations has been based on finding a good fit between what we can offer and what a community needs (3).

Arto Woodley, Executive Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning at Fordham University, talks about board structure, fundraising, mission statements, and the possibilities and pitfalls of partnership.


A big component of our work is generating buy-in and community connection to the stories of our partners. History harvests (1), community charrettes (2), and other outreach activities are strong ways to get that process started. A community that understands the goals and needs of an organization can better support that organization in the long run.