Financial struggles are a reality for many nonprofits, especially those highly reliant on restricted grant support. It’s understandable why so many companies are curious about the best companies to approach for sponsorship since sponsorships can provide additional revenue, allowing nonprofits to invest in their missions and strengthen their organizations.
A for-profit sponsor contributes to your organization’s mission (usually monetarily) in exchange for publicity, visibility, or goodwill. As such, sponsorships are essentially business deals with mutual benefits for all parties involved. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges and pitfalls along the way.
Sponsorships Can Only Take Your Nonprofit so Far
So, when it comes to companies to approach for sponsorship, although sponsorships can give you an infusion of funding and give you the ability to carry out a portion of your mission, what nonprofits need most is a continuous stream of income to allow them to grow and flourish. We talk a lot about corporate partnerships because they are so impactful to nonprofit organizations. Unlike the one-time donations that sponsorships provide, corporate partnerships are a long-lasting, mutually beneficial exchange.
The right partnerships grow with you; corporate partnerships are a classic “win-win” situation.
A partnership with a for-profit organization takes time and effort to come to fruition. Plunging into such partnerships with too much haste could prove detrimental to your nonprofit’s mission or reputation.
So, how do you find companies to approach for partnerships — and go beyond that to land valuable partnerships for your nonprofit? Here’s how you can find the best companies to approach for partnership.
Companies to Approach for Partnership
Companies have long seen the value of partnerships with nonprofits as part of their business strategies. Supporting public good initiatives in the communities they operate in not only distinguishes their brand — but also has a definite return on investment. Thereby, nonprofits must choose to look at themselves not as charities, but as true partners.
Although it doesn’t always seem that way, it’s important to remember that nonprofit-corporate partnerships are mutually beneficial relationships. As a nonprofit, you’re not asking for charity. You’re on equal grounds here.
Businesses and nonprofits operate in very different realities. On account of this, companies often choose to partner with nonprofits because they may lack the foundation and expertise to bring their CSR initiatives to life. Nonprofit-corporate partnerships are inherently collaborative. They allow for coordinated strategies that help bring about more holistic change.
By partnering with nonprofits, companies can become more responsible stewards of society. What’s more, such partnerships can expand a company’s horizons by opening up new market demographics and more elusive customer bases.
Nonprofit-corporate partnerships generate a lot of shared value for society at large while also being incredibly beneficial for corporate organizations. At their core, these partnerships are a way for nonprofits and companies to align themselves to further a specific mission. Finding the right-fit corporate sponsor means focusing on an alignment of philosophy, values, and visions for the future of society.
Consider the reputation and values of the enterprise you’re partnering with, as this will reflect on your organization. And choose wisely – partnering with a sugary soda company may not bode well for your principles if your nonprofit focuses on eradicating childhood obesity. In addition, find companies whose CSR initiatives align with your mission. Identify shared interests and find commonalities that can mutually assist both organizations. The beauty of corporate partnerships is that many companies take an interest in different kinds of missions, some of which have nothing to do with their core business operations. Whether you’re in the arts, environmental conservation, or dealing with health and wellness, there’s a company that needs your expertise to further support its mission and vision for the future.
Building Strong Business Partnerships
Nonprofit organizations tackle complex societal problems. And that’s why every dollar can make a huge difference. But to companies, cause-related marketing alliances are not philanthropy. They’re a business venture meant to define or enhance their brand in some way. Consumers want socially responsible organizations, and partnering with a nonprofit could be the key to increasing sales and even employee satisfaction.
So, tell a story that will resonate with the company you want to approach for partnership. Find out where their interests lie and how you can help them achieve their goals. Remember, relationships are key to the entire partnership process. Understand how the partnership works favorably for both sides and recognize each other’s involvement—frequently.
If you are interested in having a conversation about possibilities around partnering with a for-profit organization, call us today. We’d be happy to take some time to learn more about what you’re trying to accomplish to see if we’re able to help you out.