Public-Private Partnerships

11, 12

To bring awareness to the importance of partnerships between nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government agencies and how they can work together.


Students will:

  • Understand how nonprofits, business, and government can work together for the greater good
  • Learn about how nonprofits can effectively partner with government and business
  • Consider the importance of professionalism and how people working in nonprofits, business and government must all be held to professional standards

All students will need copies of the following (or another case study or reading selected by the teacher):

Parks and Partnership in New York City (A): Adrien Benepe’s Challenge, CR16-04-1743.0. Kennedy School of Government Case Program (or a similar reading). This can be purchased and downloaded from the Kennedy School of Government at: 

Teacher Preparation 

Identify and purchase or download a case study or reading that gives students an overview of how partners from different sectors (nonprofit, business and government) work together. At KCD, we use Parks and Partnership in New York City (A): Adrien Benepe’s Challenge.


Philanthropy, partnerships, collaboration, working together, nonprofit, business, government sectors


Use the reflection questions (in the downloadable handout) to help students think about the details of the Parks and Partnership case.


  1. Help the class start thinking about nonprofits, business and government and how these sectors are similar and different.

  2. Assign a case study that will give students a holistic picture of partnerships, such as Parks and Partnership in New York City (A): Adrien Benepe’s Challenge, #CR16-04-1743.0 from the Kennedy School of Government Case Program. 

  3. Have a discussion with the class (through reflection questions) that will help provide a deeper understanding of partnerships.

  4. Connect the importance of the sectors and help students see that running a nonprofit organization can be just a profitable and rewarding as running a business or running for a government position. Stimulate thinking and discussion with questions like “why should a CEO of the American Cancer Society not earn just as much as the CEO of Ford Motor Company?”