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Bloomberg Philanthropies Releases New Guide for City Leaders to Help Strengthen Cross-Sector Partnerships

NEW YORK, NY – Bloomberg Philanthropies today released Collaborative Cities: A Guide for Designing, Implementing, and Sustaining Strategic Partnerships through its philanthropic consulting arm, Bloomberg Associates, as part of its efforts to support global municipal leaders and provide resources to help them respond to complex needs. Many city leaders have prioritized cross-sector alliances to tackle challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. This new guide, led by Bloomberg Associates’ Strategic Partnerships team, shares strategies for building and administering effective collaboration across government, philanthropy, nonprofit, and business and highlights unique experiences in cities.

“One of the most important ways Bloomberg Philanthropies can help cities build a stronger foundation for the future is by providing mayors and other leaders with guidance on how to explore and implement strategic partnerships,” said Patti Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former Deputy Mayor for New York City.  “This report helps do that by drawing on lessons learned and best practices from our work, and from cities around the world. Of course, successful partnerships across sectors don’t just happen, and they don’t spring from the pages of a manual. They take hard work — and they require strong, creative leadership to foster collaboration.”

The Bloomberg Associates Collaborative Cities guide includes some of the building blocks and key components needed to effectively administer public-private initiatives, including:

  • Legal and Ethical Guidelines: Establishing and adhering to the rules and requirements that govern conduct.
  • Engagement and Communications: Bringing stakeholders together and building trust through consistent dialogue.
  • Management and Oversight: Creating a structure that is streamlined and accountable with appropriate staffing.
  • Budgeting and Fundraising: Determining, raising, and allocating the resources necessary for a partnership to succeed.
  • Measuring Outcomes: Designing metrics and processes for quantifying success and communicating impact.

“Local leaders are responding to unprecedented challenges and many are developing innovative solutions in collaboration with cross-sector partners,” said Megan Sheekey, Strategic Partnerships Lead at Bloomberg Associates. “Enhancing service delivery, responding to crises, and addressing systemic issues are just some of drivers of public-private partnership in cities, however, thoughtful leadership and governance for this work is crucial for success and sustainability.”

While every city is unique, the Collaborative Cities guide offers guidance for city leaders, who can adapt these lessons to their own challenges and circumstances. This guide is a free resource that can be downloaded here.


Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and TikTok.

Press contact:
Margo Yates Martinez