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Alliance Policy

Philosophy, Goals And Criteria

Alliance Program Philosophy

The Academy's Alliance Program is designed to establish and maintain strategic relationships with organizations that will advance the Strategic Plan.


  • Move the Academy’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan forward and support the Board of Directors' (BOD) 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

Strategic fit: Advancing the Academy's Strategic Plan is the essential relationship driver and thus, the primary screening tool that determines the value of a potential alliance. If there is no strategic fit, the proposal will not be further evaluated.


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. A new request to form an Alliance should be submitted to the Director of Professional Development on the approved form for further review and assessment by the Academy Executive Team.

Academy Alliance agreements must include:

  • A time frame for the alliance especially if it is project focused, with a minimum of a three year commitment to best foster representation in key external organizations.
  • 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 requestor will be notified in writing by the Chief Learning Officer of the rationale for the denial.
  • The BOD will be notified of all approved or rejected alliance proposals.

After the Alliance is approved, selected Dietetics Practice Groups (DPG) and/or Member Interest Groups (MIG) 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 liaison or an Academy member with a staff liaison based on identified needs. The proposed representative(s) will be selected based on expertise and area of responsibility. The Alliance staff will submit recommendations for representatives to the Chief Executive Officer and Academy President for final 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 quarterly reports (at least one each program year) and budget requests through the reports form.

Funding requests prepared by Academy staff representatives will be submitted to the Director of Professional Development 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 Network. The definition of each type is outlined below.


A consortium is made up of different agencies joining together to reach a common goal which is comprised of key staff and selected member leaders based on their area of expertise. This highly shared endeavor has a clear mission, narrowly focused purpose and 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.


A project is the coordinated effort between the participating organizations with shared responsibility to the workload and expertise. The project is time limited and accomplishment-focused so 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.


A network promotes and supports Academy members in leadership positions in external organizations and offers the ability to influence policy initiatives and 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

The following are terms used by the Policy Initiative and Advocacy (PIA) Team in their legislative work.


A coalition is a temporary or formal alliance or partnership formed by individuals, groups, or nations to achieve a common goal or address a specific issue.

  • It involves the cooperation of multiple entities that may have different backgrounds, interests, or ideologies but come together to work towards a shared objective.
    • Example: National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research


A workgroup typically refers to a small team or a group of individuals who come together to collaborate on a specific project or work towards a common goal within an organization.

  • It is an informal and temporary arrangement where members share information, resources, and expertise to achieve their objectives.
    • Example: CMS-Chronic Conditions and Disease Management Subcommittee

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