Monumental challenges, such as climate change, world hunger, and poverty, are inspiring companies to take initiatives to better their communities and society at large. These days, corporate nonprofit partnerships go beyond simply writing a check. A nonprofit organization will, of course, obtain economic support from the partnership and benefit from increased public awareness of its mission. And partnering with a for-profit organization makes for a great opportunity to share your story and highlight your impact programs.
That said, companies are now playing a direct role in driving social change, leading to more collaborative and impactful corporate nonprofit partnerships.
Ultimately, what makes such partnerships successful is value alignment. When values and missions align, corporate nonprofit partnerships allow the organizations involved to make bigger strides in bettering their community.
A great example of this is when the Exploratorium partnered with leading tech corporations to develop programs to strengthen scientific literacy. Let’s break down what made these partnerships so successful.
The Value in Corporate Nonprofit Partnerships
The Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory that purposes to transform learning worldwide by advancing ideas about learning.
A robust STEM learning ecosystem is key to supporting innovative minds to create, imagine and excel. STEM education plays an important role in providing students with the knowledge and competencies they need to solve the next wave of problems society will face. And corporations understand this all too well.
Forming a corporate nonprofit partnership with the Exploratorium allowed PG&E, Genentech, Chevron, and Autodesk to impact their communities in several ways.
- PG&E launched a field trip program that sponsored visits from Title I schools in San Francisco as only 10 to 12 percent of students in the public school systems were able to visit the museum due to budgetary constraints.
- Genentech underwrote an Exploratorium program that offered free admission to all California public school teachers. These programs would provide educators with access to the institution’s educational resources.
- The Chevron Corporation launched a series of STEM Education Teacher Conferences to provide professional development to local educators so they could effectively pass on knowledge in design and engineering.
- Autodesk offered support by way of their engineers and designers, who created exhibits for the museum to inspire students to think creatively and engage with technology from an early age.
Building successful corporate nonprofit partnerships hinges on the clarity of the participating organizations’ vision and mission statements. For nonprofits, it’s important to find corporate partners who truly share their values.
But couldn’t PG&E, Genentech, Chevron, and Autodesk have undertaken these projects on their own?
Sure. But nonprofits like the Exploratorium have a pulse on the community’s most pressing issues. They directly support the underserved and underrepresented communities and understand exactly how they can impact long-term positive change. When corporations and nonprofit organizations develop partnerships based on value alignment, they can maximize impact not only for each other but for the greater public good.
Working with For-Profits for the Greater Good
Corporate nonprofit partnerships are mutually beneficial; your nonprofit both receives and provides value. Such partnerships are a two-way street and have the potential to change the world for the better.
If you’re interested in seeing if your nonprofit is ready for a corporate partnership, reach out to us today for a complimentary conversation.