When working in partnership with other organizations, a good Memorandum Of Understanding template can come in handy to assist with:
- Outlining the nature of working relationships
- Establishing what is expected from both parties
However, before filling out your Memorandum Of Understanding word document, you may want to take a look at what a Memorandum Of Understanding actually is, how they work, and how you can effectively use them in the real world.
Here’s a sample Memorandum of Understanding template that can be easily customized and adapted to meet your requirements. It’s free to download and use.
What is a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)?
A Memorandum Of Understanding is simply a document that outlines a working agreement between two or more parties. Standard MOU’s are usually no more than 2-3 pages long, and they are not legally binding.
The information included in a Memorandum Of Understanding template can vary depending on the nature of the relationship and project. However, typical sections in an MOU include a section providing context for the nature of the relationship, roles and responsibilities for each party involved, a timeline, and a place for representatives from each party to sign.
Why Memorandums of Understanding are important
They help both parties plan ahead and avoid disappointment
It is very common for organizations working together in partnership to base their relationship on ambiguous verbal agreements alone. However, a Memorandum Of Understanding can help to ensure that both parties adequately meet each other’s expectations, which ultimately helps to prevent disappointment, confusion, and a deterioration of the working relationship.
Additionally, the process of crafting a Memorandum Of Understanding can help both parties plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements to fulfill their part of the agreement. Without an MOU, organizations may feel uneasy and unsure about what exactly is required from them.
They can smooth the negotiation process
Sometimes it is much easier to negotiate a relationship if you have a well though-out and outlined list of roles and responsibilities for each party. Instead of discussing this all in a meeting, an MOU allows both parties to clearly assert what they want from the relationship, what they can provide for the project, and when they expect it all to happen.
Miscommunication can easily happen when discussing these issues verbally. However, when using an MOU, both parties can have a safe, clear, and efficient way to negotiate all of the details of their relationship.
They ensure that both parties are serious about working together
MOU’s are also a great way to confirm that both parties involved are serious about the ins and outs of working together. The entire back and forth process of drafting an MOU can be time-consuming, tedious, and laborious, and only organizations serious about working together would go through the effort required to draft and finalize an MOU.
Additionally, oftentimes an MOU is a great first step before creating a more serious, legally binding document. Both parties can work out the complicated details beforehand, see if the agreement works for a period of time, and then move on to a more permanent arrangement once both parties are ready.
Using Your Memorandum Of Understanding Template: Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered
What details should be included in my Memorandum Of Understanding template?
When crafting an MOU between your organization and another organization, make sure to clearly express all of the essential details and expectations of your arrangement. This typically includes:
- The name and contact details of both parties
- The purpose and scope of the agreement
- Any background information about the relationship
- The roles, responsibilities, and anticipated deliverables for both parties
- A general timeline of when any deliverables should be delivered or actioned
Are MOU’s legally binding?
In general, no. MOU’s are not a legally binding document. However, you should steer clear from including content or language in your MOU that may appear as legally binding. This includes any information regarding payment, service delivery, confidentiality, or potential consequences in the event of a breach.
To get a feel for the nature of the document, try reviewing a few Memorandum Of Understanding samples before writing your own.
What is a memorandum Of understanding promissory note letter?
A Memorandum Of Understanding should not be confused with promissory note letter, as they are two completely different documents. An MOU outlines a mutual relationship between two parties and is not legally binding. On the other hand, a promissory note letter is typically legally binding and is a ‘promise’ to pay a sum of money under fixed terms.