Creating, developing, and sustaining corporate partnerships is a win-win scenario for both your nonprofit and the businesses that support it.
According to Nonprofit Source, 90% of company executives indicated that partnering with a reputable nonprofit organization enhanced their brand and 89% believe partnering leverages their ability to improve the community. Developing partnerships presents a win-win-win scenario for your nonprofit, the community, and your corporate partner. Talk about value. Creating successful corporate partnerships can help your nonprofit access skills, funding, and resources that increase impact.
What is a corporate partnership? What isn’t it?
According to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), a corporate partnership is where a charity forms a relationship with a business. It usually involves a charity receiving funds, goods or services in exchange for something the corporate partner sees as beneficial.
Keep in mind that a corporate partnership should be a mutually beneficial opportunity, it is not a one-sided relationship. In other words, both parties need to provide value for the partnership to be sustainable.
What are the benefits for corporate partners?
There are many benefits that your nonprofit can promote to corporate partners and partner prospects. For businesses, partnering with your nonprofit could increase employee satisfaction, provide professional development opportunities for staff, create a positive public image, provide marketing opportunities, and increase community impact. Use this opportunity to think outside the box.
What are the benefits for your nonprofit?
What are you trying to achieve through developing corporate partnerships? Depending on your strategy, you could use corporate partnerships as a way to generate donations, grow your volunteer program, increase community visibility, and access resources. Again, this is an opportunity to think outside the box and create value.
Types of corporate partnerships
There are several ways that your nonprofit can partner with for-profit businesses in the community. Below are a few common forms of corporate partnership.
Corporate sponsorship is a payment, made by a business, that aims to help your nonprofit further its mission. Typically, corporate sponsorships provide a business with recognition in exchange for supporting a activity, program, or special event. For example, The Alzheimer’s Association may look for corporate sponsors for their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. Promoting corporate sponsorship opportunities can help your nonprofit fund initiatives and drive brand awareness for sponsors.
According to Double the Donation, workplace giving is a company-sponsored program that provides employees with an opportunity to financially support nonprofit organizations. Workplace giving has been shown to increase employee retention and engagement. It is also not uncommon for businesses to match employee donations. In fact, 65% of fortune 500 companies offer contribution match programs.
There is a lot of value in finding skill-based volunteers to help your nonprofit reach goals. Partnering with for-profit organizations can help your volunteer program tap into specialized talent. The good news is, businesses are recognizing the value of corporate volunteer initiatives, and more than 50% of corporate volunteer programs include skill-based volunteerism.
We wrote an entire article on the benefits of skill-based volunteerism and how organizations, like yours, can utilize it. Check it out here.
Volunteer grants are another way that businesses can support your organization. Double the Donation defines volunteer grants as corporate giving programs that encourage volunteerism in communities where employees live and work. Through these programs, companies provide monetary grants to organizations where employees regularly volunteer.
In-kind donation is a non-cash gift made to your organization. It can be appealing for businesses to support your cause by providing goods (including technology and software), services, time, and expertise. For example, your nonprofit may want to ask your corporate sponsors to help cover the cost of volunteer management software, or other technology that helps save time and resources.
If you are interested in software donation, we created a template to send to corporate sponsors.
Cause marketing is a collaboration or joint-marketing effort between a nonprofit and for-profit business. Engaging in a cause marketing partnership can bring awareness for your nonprofit and its corporate partner.
How to find corporate partners
Building strategic partnerships can be a rewarding experience for both your nonprofit organization and other local businesses. To find corporate partners, your organization should identify companies with an aligned mission, do comprehensive research, offer equal benefits, go beyond sponsorship, maintain open communication, and leverage data.
Nonprofit Pro has a great resource to help your nonprofit identify corporate partnership opportunities and engage businesses in the community. The resource can be found here.
Here are several additional resources to help your nonprofit navigate corporate partnerships.
4 ways nonprofits can create corporate partnership opportunities
3 steps for building trust with corporate sponsors
How to approach corporate sponsors (guide)
3 steps for recruiting corporate sponsors
Nonprofits share their tips for engaging corporate volunteers
Junior Achievement is engaging corporate sponsors with VolunteerHub
Creating corporate partnerships can truly be a win-win-win scenario for your nonprofit, for-profit businesses, and the community. Doing research, understanding the different forms of partnership, and creating value can help your organization entice other organizations to support your cause in a variety of ways.