Finding the right corporate partner can be hard work. It’s a process that can take much time, patience, planning, research and relationship building. Here are five considerations charities and not-for-profits should factor into their search for the right corporate partner. Common values
Having shared ideals and aligned brand values are integral to sustaining a long and successful corporate partnership. It should be a natural and complementary fit. For example, if sustainability and the environment are at the core of your cause it’s important that your corporate partner also values these and it’s reflected in how they do business.
This first phase of finding the right partner is termed Ask yourself as per the Benojo Index, and requires a thorough evaluation of your cause’s objectives and values. Do some research. Become familiar with potential corporate’s mission statement, history, public profile and their philanthropic work to date. Identify the common values between your organisation and theirs. Hone in and develop these into your plan of approach.
Aim to build and cultivate relationships within the companies you’d like to create corporate partnerships. Exploring where you should put your giving effort is termed the Make it matter phase of Benojo’s Index. This is an imperative step which allows you to research corporate’s who will prove to be a long-term, beneficial partner by cross-referencing core values and ideas.
LinkedIn is a good way of identifying who to approach and any potential connections that could help put you in touch. Follow the companies to keep up to date with their work. Should you approach someone to discuss a prospective partnership be sure to personalise your proposal to the company and the person’s role.
A mutually beneficial relationship
In the best of business relationships, there is always a healthy amount of give and take. So in seeking out a corporate partner consider not just what they can give to your organisation, but what you can bring to theirs. This may be staff engagement by providing suitable volunteering opportunities or promotion through brand alignment. This evaluation will Set your path and requires you to decide how you want involve corporates- whether it be volunteering, financial donations, sponsorships etc.
One example of a charity who does this effectively is OzHarvest. OzHarvest offer engaging corporate team building programs like Cooking for a Cause, where staff work together with an OzHarvest chef to prepare meals that will be distributed to some of the city’s most vulnerable, alongside their annual high-profile fundraising event, CEO CookOff, where 60 CEOs and executive staff cook alongside 50 reputed chefs to feed 1000 people in need.
The OzHarvest programs demonstrate an effective use of the Launch and lift stage of the Benojo Index in which corporates are paired with the right kind of giving for them. Achieving this perfect match requires discussions and negotiations based upon what a corporate has to offer in terms of time and finances.
Show them your worth
Does your charity have a point of difference? Some solid talent or names aligned to your cause? Have you been producing some strong results? Is your work making an impact or contributing to positive change? What are your recent wins?
It’s important to sell yourself when approaching prospective corporate partners – be passionate, promote your successes and share your stories in your pitch. Show them what you do well and why your charity is a worthy partner. Try working some fresh, creative ideas into your pitch or invite key staff of prospective partners to see the charity’s work in action, as this could also help fuel their desire to support its work.
Transparency is an appealing trait to businesses looking to collaborate with charities or not-for-profits in the long term. From general organisational data, such as annual reports, to campaign-specific reporting, being given an insight into how their contribution made an impact, what value it produced and the outcomes it helped achieve can build confidence and grow investment. Technologies and platforms such as Benojo can help both charities and companies with this by efficiently building, tracking, managing and reporting on campaigns and corporate partnerships.
Imperative to this stage is the ability to share your story; we call this Grow & tell. Publishing impressive statistics, outcomes and positive impacts will motivate other corporates to become involved and allow you to grow your strategy as well as the range of initiatives you have to offer.
What do you think is a key consideration for charities in finding the right corporate partner?
Benojo helps charities and businesses collaborate for the greater good. Contact us to learn more about our work.