Principles of fit in partnerships


Dovetail's mission is to help non-profits find their perfect digital partner. Our directory and "how to" guides significantly increase the chances of finding the right fit.

The principles below are designed to help you establish and maintain a productive partnership. To assess partners, check out our guide on How to evaluate partners.


Shared world view

Ensure that both parties share common values and beliefs regarding the cause or project. This fosters mutual motivation and commitment.


Maintain open communication channels. Engage in regular conversations and use a shared language to facilitate collaboration.


Be open about challenges, concerns, and developments. Transparency helps move projects forward and prevents misunderstandings.


Foster a positive and inclusive environment by treating all team members with respect, regardless of their knowledge level or role.


Build trust by having faith in each other's intentions and actions, especially when circumstances are uncertain.


Provide support and guidance to build confidence and competence among all team members.

Shared understanding

Ensure both parties understand the problem, users, and opportunities involved. This leads to more informed decision-making.

Compatible processes

Ensure workflows, tools, and ways of working are aligned. This enables smooth and efficient collaboration.

Starting off well

Set the stage for success by establishing clear ground rules, expectations, roles, and points of contact from the start.


These principles are based on research with non-profits, plus recent user interviews with:

Headshot photo of Yeen Lau
Yeen Lau
Headshot photo of Marianne Doherty
Marianne Doherty
Headshot photo of Richard Basteed
Richard Basteed