Academy Alliances FAQs

In addition to representing more than 112,000 credentialed practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also works with a select group of organizations and companies on projects and partnerships.

Affiliates and networking groups of the Academy (DPGs, MIGs and State Affiliates) may engage in informal networking with organizations related to their special areas of interest that, while not official Academy alliances, may provide a value for those involved.

The Academy forms alliances with other organizations for special projects and participates in coalitions with shared goals and objectives. As the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy may collaborate with organizations and companies to support the Academy's vision and mission: optimizing health through food and nutrition, and empowering members to be food and nutrition leaders.


  • Move the Academy's Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan forward and support the Board of Directors' Program of Work.
  • Establish outcomes-based plans within the parameters of available resources (staff and financial).
  • Increase the visibility of the Academy and its members with other organizations.
  • Promote Academy members in leadership positions in other organizations.
  • Increase the value of membership in the Academy.
  • Position members to compete in current and future environments.
  • Provides insight to an issue which offers the opportunity for the Academy to be proactive.
  • Increase demand and utilization of services provided by Academy members.
  • Influence the policy initiatives of key audiences.


Initiating an Alliance

An Alliance request can be initiated by any Academy member or Academy staff. Requests will be screened for alignment with the Academy's Strategic Plan and the BOD Program of Work.

Academy Alliance agreements must include:

  • A time frame for the alliance especially if it is project focused.
  • The identified outcomes to be achieved.
  • A documented commitment from the other organization(s) (official letter or minutes).
  • Designated resources (staff and financial support) provided by all involved organizations.

The Executive Team will:

  • If deemed acceptable the alliance will be assigned to an appropriate Academy Team and member representative to provide management and oversight.
  • If the Executive Team rejects the proposal the requester will be notified in writing of the rationale for the denial.
  • The BOD will be notified of all approved or rejected alliance proposals.

After the Alliance is approved, selected DPGs/MIGs will be contacted to obtain recommendations for member representatives and technical experts related to activities of the Alliance. Each Alliance will have one or more designated Academy representatives, either staff or an Academy member and staff based on identified needs. The representative(s) will be selected based on expertise and area of responsibility. The Alliance staff will submit recommendations for representatives to the Executive Team for approval.

Responsibilities of Academy representatives include:

  • Serve as the communication link between the other organization and the Academy.
  • Participate in meetings and other activities outlined in the proposal.
  • Provide timely status and meeting reports to the Academy.
  • Submit meeting/activity reports (at least one each program year) and budget requests.

Funding requests prepared by Academy staff representatives will be submitted to the Alliance staff during budget planning and incorporated into the annual Alliance budget. Coordination of the Alliance including budget and resource allocation will be managed by Alliance staff.

At the minimum an annual Alliance status report will be provided to the Board of Directors.

Review and Termination of Alliances

Alliances will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Alliance staff. Subsequent to the annual review process, any termination recommendations will be given to the Executive Team for approval. After the Executive Team takes action, the BOD will be notified. External Relationships may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  • The Alliance is no longer aligned with the Strategic Plan and/or BOD Program of Work.
  • The mutual project is completed.
  • The representative recommends termination based on any of the items noted above or other pertinent reasons.


The Academy's official Alliances consist of three types: Consortium, Project and Social Network. The definition of each type is outlined below.


  • A consortium is made up of different agencies joining together to reach a common goal. It is a highly shared endeavor with a stated mission and a narrowly focused purpose.
  • It serves to create new value, a product, or service of high expectation and quality.
  • Agreement to form the consortium defines funding mechanism and responsibilities of consortium members.
  • Paid staff from member organizations forms a part of a permanent small group with considerable autonomy and responsibility to provide consistent, accurate information. They also provide the communication link with the leadership of participating organizations.
  • Selected members from each organization may participate based on their area of expertise.
  • Each organization has the opportunity to assume a leadership role within the consortium’s program of work.
  • Example: Several organizations would like to work together to promote the national breastfeeding goals.


  • The key feature of a project is the coordinated effort between the participating organizations.
  • Each organization has responsibility to share the work load and expertise. The project is time limited – when the project is completed the alliance is dissolved.
  • A paid staff member from each entity participates in the project to ensure consistent, accurate information. Selected members from each organization may contribute expertise in specialty areas.
  • The project is accomplishment-focused with defined outcomes and produces measurable value to each participating organization.
  • Example: A group of organizations would like to create a symposium on a research topic with shared responsibility and resource management.

Social Alliance

  • Maintained to increase the visibility of the Academy and its members.
  • Promote and support Academy members in leadership positions in other organizations.
  • Provide insight on issues important to other organizations.
  • Potential to influence policy initiatives of key audiences.
  • Example: Academy President attends the national meeting of the School Nutrition Association.