"Collaboration" is a term bandied about a great deal in community work but most of the time, there is little understanding, much less agreement, about what the term means. Defining these terms is a great idea when working with multiple groups that are trying to figure out if and how to work together.
Over the years I've seen several collaboration continuum tools that are helpful. I recently ran across one that I think is a great communications tool. The continuum begins with Networking and ends with Integrating. It also plots how turf and trust play into the relationship. For example, when trust is low and turf issues are high, the best to hope for is probably some information sharing (Networking). When Turf issues are low and trust is high, that is when greater levels of collaboration can occur.
This little model is available in an animated PowerPoint file here. It comes from a youth development organization, ACT for Youth, out of New York but I think it applies to all areas of community work.