Importance of Corporate Partnerships
The world is facing challenging economic conditions. Traditional sources for philanthropy are still giving but all are demanding more from the nonprofits they choose to support. And corporations, one of the most sought after sources for philanthropic support are giving less and expecting more from their community investments. How can nonprofits maximize their potential for success given these challenges?
Today, corporations are looking for multi-faceted partnerships with nonprofits. This requires organizations to think of the full-range of benefits that they can offer to corporations when going to ask for support. When making a plan to talk with corporate donors, consider the following ideas:
- Cultivate your relationships. This might seem like a simple point, but you need to know your potential business partners. Many meetings tend to occur in the corporate offices, however, if appropriate, invite them to your organization and have them experience the mission of the nonprofit. If a corporation can visualize how their contribution will benefit the organization, the sponsorship will be more likely to occur. Relationships are crucial to gain corporate grants and sponsorships.
- What impact will your partnership have on the community? Corporate citizenship is not about making money for businesses. It is, however, about making an impact on the local community, and, in some cases, a global impact. Nonprofits need to understand, when approaching a corporation, how their investment will affect the communities that they are reaching out to. Make your benefits clear and concise when approaching a business.
- Develop a clear strategy. Ultimately, success depends on the nonprofit understanding and respecting the needs of the corporate partner. This may sound one-sided but really, with few exceptions, the pool of potential partners for corporations to support is much wider and deeper than the pool of potential corporate partners for a particular nonprofit.
Nonprofits need to be: organized and strategic, efficient in their communications, able to embrace the pace and quality expected by a corporation and willing to invest in, and value, the public relations needs and expectations of the corporation. When objectives align, when expectations on both sides are clearly defined and when there are clear measurement plans, a strong relationship between the parties can form and impactful things can happen for the greater good.