Unit 7 Section 7.5: Deciding to End or Dissolve a Partnership

There is often an assumption that once formed, every partnership will continue. But in reality, there may be circumstances where it is appropriate for a partnership to dissolve. Sometimes relationships and partnerships end naturally, when the project is complete, or the purpose of the partnership has been fulfilled. However, not all partnerships have happy endings. Some end abruptly and can leave one or more of the partners dissatisfied or even angry. Knowing how and when to call it quits can be difficult and stressful for all partners involved.

When is it appropriate to dissolve a CBPR partnership?

  • When there has been dishonesty, misuse or abuse within the partnership

  • When all of the targeted goals have been achieved

  • When there has been a gross violation of the partnership’s principles

  • When there is inadequate resources to support the partnership

A high level of trust and positive relationships are central to successful CBPR partnerships. There may be some partnerships that decided to dissolve because the personalities and the working relationships simply did not work.

Sometimes a partnership may wish to continue to work together, but no funding is obtained. A partnership may dissolve temporarily but agree to come together again if a funding source is identified.

While a “formal” CBPR partnership may decide to dissolve, that does not mean that the relationships between partners must end or that programs or activities begun during the CBPR project must discontinue. These activities may be maintained by a partner organization or other organization.

Below are some questions that should be considered:

  • How will you know whether it is time to dissolve or to continue the partnership?

  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of ending the partnership?

  • When (if ever) is it okay to end the partnership?

  • Are there any resources available to fill the gaps and strengthen the weaknesses in the partnership?

  • What are partners willing to sacrifice in order to maintain the partnership? What are partners not willing to sacrifice in order to maintain the partnership?