As a nonprofit fundraiser, you know how restrained budgets can be, especially when reliant only on grants and donations for funding. Securing nonprofit corporate partnerships is another way to increase revenue and provide much-needed funding to further support your mission.
Some nonprofits opt to forego corporate partnerships altogether because finding and securing the right corporate partnership can be a rigorous task. And partnering with the wrong organization could irreparably hurt your mission or brand image. Still, working with a sponsor can provide your organization with long-term benefits that extend far beyond the initial funding. You just have to get it right each time. Let’s look at the ways you can do so.
What are 6 ways to secure a nonprofit corporate partnership?
1. Identify Companies With Shared Values for Nonprofit Corporate Partnerships
Finding a right-fit sponsor is the most crucial aspect of the process. While many companies have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, not every organization’s mission will align with your nonprofit’s values and work. For instance, it would not reflect well for your nonprofit to partner with a company that has inequitable hiring practices no matter how well their business objectives mesh with your organization’s work.
Do your homework on a potential partner. Be sure to analyze their mission, values, past philanthropic activities, and public image.
2. Know Who to Contact for Nonprofit Corporate Partnerships
Every company approaches corporate partnerships in different ways. Some national brands work with strategic public relations firms to manage their public image, and others have brand managers. In smaller organizations, the C-suite is more involved when choosing which nonprofit to partner with. As such, it might be a good idea to know which party to approach first.
Get your board of directors involved in making introductions and asking for funding. Community events, social media, and networking workshops are also great ways to engage potential partners in dialogue.
3. To Secure a great Nonprofit Corporate Partnership, Have a Great Proposal!
Partnerships should always be mutually beneficial, and this is still true when it comes to corporate-nonprofit partnerships. Your proposal should not only highlight your mission and projects, but it should also detail the benefits of partnering with your organization.
It helps to start with a story – it could be the story of your organization or the story of how your mission has impacted people, communities, or the world. And, don’t sell yourself short.
4. Build a Relationship Outside the Fundraising Process
Network, in other words. Genuinely get to know local businesses and community leaders without an agenda. Doing so opens up new opportunities and builds your organization’s image within your community.
Once you’ve secured your corporate partnership, it helps to welcome them into the fold. Treat them like part of the team, because they are part of the team. This way, they will feel more engaged with your work, making them more likely to partner with you again. Make sure your organization’s relationships with these companies don’t fall to the wayside. Corporate partners can have a significant impact on your organization and its mission.
5. Ask Your Corporate Sponsors What You Can Do for Them
Instead of only asking for support, find out how you can support your corporate sponsor in their objectives. Businesses are always looking for an added competitive advantage. And your nonprofit could offer this advantage via an improved brand image and community standing.
Yet another benefit of businesses partnering with nonprofits is improved employee retention and recruitment process. People today want to work for companies that share their values and participate in community-building efforts.
6. Purpose to Understand Potential Corporate Partners
It’s the little touch points that make a difference. Purpose to understand potential corporate partners and their business models so as to tailor your proposal to them. Many nonprofits enter partnership conversations with a dollar amount in mind. It’s important to position your partnership as a benefit to you and the corporate organization.
In short, your partnership pitch should include more than a fundraising goal.
If you’re in need of some help in securing a nonprofit corporate partnership, reach out to us for a no-obligation conversation. We have been securing these types of relationships for a number of years, and would be happy to discuss your organization’s potential for corporate partnership.