Building Industry and Community Partnerships

The first step toward creating engaging, valuable meetings is to build partnerships with local professionals and supporters. This can be intimidating, but follow these tips and you’ll soon be on your way to having a network of folks eager to invest in your chapter! To find out more about integrating industry and community partnerships into the life of your chapter, check out the Agenda and Scheduling Toolkit

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  •  Not sure where to start? Check out the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign.
  • Get off campus; discover what’s in your community.
  • Use LinkedIn and/or Twitter to connect with and follow companies of interest.
  • Learn about who their company is, what they do, and why they do it.
  • Identify a specific person as your initial point of contact.

Reach Out

  • Always be prepared to network; carry business cards with your club contact info.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask—the worst they can say is “no”.
  • Go beyond email: call on the phone to set up an in-person meeting.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Be memorable: Shake hands, make eye contact, put your phone away, smile.
  • Speak in complete sentences.
  • Use names.
  • Appeal to their wisdom; ask for advice.
  • Contribute to the conversation: ask about their life; share knowledge about your campus and community.
  • Be explicit about your goals and expectations.
  • Practice! The more you do it, the easier it will become.


  • Write thank-you notes.
  • Tweet out their posts, comment on their blogs, share their updates.
  • Connect them with other professionals in your network.