Writing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Once you have chosen a collaborator, you will need to develop a memorandum of understanding, or MOU. A MOU is a written agreement between two or more parties, describing collaborative efforts of a specific program, project or goal. It outlines the responsibilities and roles of each entity and clearly defines efforts to achieve mutual objectives and goals. It must be signed by someone with the authority to do so, and should set a term to review it to be sure it is fulfilling its intended purpose.
A successful MOU answers these questions:
- What are your missions and goals and how do they align with your partners' mission and goals?
- What are you trying to accomplish with your goals and the MOU?
- What is your collaborative plan for achieving these goals?
- Who is going to be involved and what will each partners' responsibilities be?
- How will decisions be made? How does your organization operate?
- How often do your boards meet, etc.?
- What is your plan for evaluating the effectiveness of your partnership?
We suggest adding as many details about the roles and responsibilites of your group and your collaborator into the MOU. We also recommend getting your own legal team's advice on this document.
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