How to ...

(E-FAITH twinning charter - Twinning between industrial and technical heritage associations. Adopted, London, 28.10.2012


Whilst not legally binding, the signing of a formal twinning or agreement facilitates the setting up of a long-term, trusting relationship. Its form and content are not fixed, and may be amended depending on the specific nature of the partnership which is being set up, and according to the wishes of the partners.

Why ?
•    To develop co-operation and exchanges between the associations involved
•    To improve personal contacts and friendship.
•    To exchange and discuss ideas and experiences, to learn from each other
•    To arrange activities and visits, which encourage meetings between people and the development of lasting contacts and friendships
•    To create the background for and to seek means for visits and exchanges both culturally, educationally and personally
•    To set up common initiatives and activities.
The general principle of twinning is to share expertise both associations, to help and support each other, and to combine the expertise of both associations to develop common activities and projects or to make each other’s activities more efficient
The basis of twinning is a form of transfer of know-how. It favours the creation of relationships on which to build future partnerships.

What are the starting points ?
•    Two associations
    •    with a similar structure (for example two non profit volunteer associations),
    •    being of equal scale and strength (not one big and one small organisations),
    •    working in a comparable area (for example a town, a province, a region or a national association - no twinning between a local association and a national association),
    •    having similar aims
    •    and working on similar topics (for example two associations both trying to preserve a steam engine)
•    Two associations
    •    that have a mutual wish to enrich their association through international contacts and partnerships
    •    understanding each other’s culture and way of thinking and acting (this can take some time !)
    •    understanding each other language or being able to use a common ‘neutral’ intermediate language

How to start ?
•    Try to find a colleague-association
    •    where you can talk to in an open way, negociate, develop ideas, maybe just have fun together (Google in different languages, not just English)
    •    where you find the members and board members appealing and nice
•    Visit them, attend one of their activities or conferences - if possible present your association to them during one of their meetings or do offer them a lecture; invite them to come and visit your association, and to present their aims and activities to your members
•    Discuss what you have in common and what you can and can’t do together, try to find out how you can support each other’s campaigns or activities, ...
•    Then write down your conclusions and try to plan something together (which can be a joint conference, a meeting, a joint issue of your newsletter, linking and developing your website together,...)
•    An after that - let it happen and try to formalize a twinning charter.

DON’T WORK TOO FAST - a good twinning takes time before you can formalize it !

Formalizing the twinning
•    Sign the twinning charter during a ceremony where board members and members of both associations are present. Do it solemnly. Don’t forget to invite local authorities and press to attend.
•    Agree on a realistic common road map and immediately start implementing it. Don’t wait as time often burries good intentions.