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A step-by-step guide to realising purpose-alignment and making it work for local communities

This toolkit will help you maximise positive social outcomes and public value through the creation of effective public service community partnerships.

These partnerships harness the power of social enterprises and other public benefit organisations to achieve positive outcomes for people and communities.

Public service community partnerships are especially relevant for addressing complex issues and the creation of services to meet people’s needs, as you will see from our case studies. They are a vehicle to put social value at the heart of your commissioned service.

Input from our working group has been invaluable in developing this toolkit.

Why create and develop public service community partnerships?

Public Service Community Partnerships can be initiated by a public authority or through an approach by an innovative social enterprise to a public authority offering a new solution. Why? Click here.

Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions

Plus put your specific queries to our community, made of up public-partnership-success-stories, legal and finance experts, bold commissioners and social enterprise leaders. FAQs AND POST A QUESTION.

Case studies of purpose-aligned partnerships

Examples of successful public service community partnerships delivering a variety of public services. See them here.

Tools, Resources and Model Documents

Example documentation, contracts, processes and agreements you can access – or use as a checklist as you progress your partnerships. These practical models and outlines include a set of social value imperatives.

Webinars – exploring successful partnerships

In-depth examinations of successful public service partnerships, described by partners involved PLUS analysis from experts and Q&A. Watch the recordings here.

5 Fundamental Correctives for Public Service Reform

Read about the Five Correctives here or click the buttons below for descriptions of the outcomes of, process behind, underlying principles, and evidence for each corrective.

9 Key Principles for working with purpose-aligned partners

Component principles for effective partnership working. Click here.

What next?

You will find multiple paths through the content and practical resources within this guide. Follow the links above or the menus, sub-menus and category links on each page to find the sections which are of most relevance to you.

This toolkit is for public authorities, purpose-aligned partners and social investors. It’s not a linear document to read in a particular order from start to finish. Instead, we see it as a living and working guide. We’ll continue to add further examples to illustrate the guidance here.

We invite toolkit users to play an active role in supporting the development of these resources, please email to get involved or pop your email address in the form to be notified whenever we publish new resources.

From Procurement to Partnership News

For Commissioners | Social Entrepreneurs | Social Investors: Get updates whenever we publish new resources, case studies, tools and model documents.

Just pop your email address in the box then look out for an email from – you’ll need to click the confirmation link:


Thank-you for your interest in this toolkit – please do get involved as outlined above.

We are extremely grateful to our Toolkit Working Group for their input and commitment to developing these resources. Working Group members: Jonathan Bland, E3M and Social Business International | Tej Dhami, The Change Coefficient | Julian Blake, Stone King | Melissa Milner, Catch22 | Andrew Cox, London & South East Education Group | Rachel Silcock, Plymouth City Council | Mark MacMillan, Kibble | Mark Neild, Grow Inspires Academy | Eddie Finch, Buzzacott | Matthew Hardwick, Zurich. Toolkit editing, design and web development: Jamie Veitch.

We are also grateful to members of E3M’s Bold Commissioners’ Club and Social Enterprise Leaders’ Club, and to all the organisations featured in our case studies, for their input and feedback.