pexels-photo-1040157Sponsorships and other collaborative efforts with third parties are a great way for nonprofits to maximise their positive impact in their community, while making wise use of their resources. When organisations partner together, it is ideally a win-win situation for everyone.

Generally, these types of partnerships work best when each member shares common goals and values and can agree to share resources. This way, each entity in the partnership can concentrate on those projects and services that they do best, and which support their core mission. The following strategies can help you find good prospects to collaborate with and increase the impact made by all!

Get Started with Research

It pays to do your homework before you approach a prospective partner about forming an alliance. Visit their corporate website and learn their basic facts. Key details to cover include their industry, the products or services that they offer, gross sales, years in business, along with the name of its CEO and similar pertinent information.

It’s also a good idea to try to discover if they have sponsored other nonprofits in the past, and, what those partnerships looked like in practice. Try to find out if they have a formal statement on their approach to social responsibility, or, if they’ve published a strategy for community investment.

Express What’s in it For Them

By conducting a thorough assessment, you can gain insight into what areas your nonprofit might be able to provide a benefit to the company should it partner with you. Keep in mind that your request is more likely to be received positively if you point out the benefits of the partnership for both parties rather than just listing your nonprofit’s needs and wish list for support.

While philanthropy offers its own rewards in terms of self-esteem, partnerships like these typically help corporations manage their reputations and improve their credibility. This builds a strong, positive brand identity, which in turn drives sales. When workers on the frontline join in, it can also increase morale and team cooperation, which leads to improved performance.

Be Proactive – Educate Potential Sponsors on How Best to Support You

Just as you should investigate the background of your potential partners before you approach them, make it easy for others to discover how they can best support your core mission. Update your website, taking care to ensure that it’s engaging, inspiring and easy to navigate so that visitors can easily learn more about your work.

Include easy to see buttons that take your visitors to your corporate giving page as well as details about your corporate sponsorship program and your current and past corporate partners. Add contact information for potential sponsors and other partners so that they know who to reach out to to create their own corporate giving and support program for your NFP. Don’t forget case studies, testimonials and details about the results of your partnerships, so that other organisations can easily see how working with your organisation creates impact and benefits both entities.

Don’t Fail to Follow-Up

Creating a pitch, practising the ask, and seeking out partners is only part of the process. Once everyone has agreed and signed the necessary paperwork, the real work is only beginning. Make sure your partnership agreement clearly spells out what areas, materials, and items each party will be responsible for providing, and include a formal policy or procedure that spells out what steps will be taken to mediate any disputes or disagreements before any arise.

The most successful partnerships run on effective communication. Dedicate an account manager to act as a liaison between your NFP and the other party to answer questions and keep everyone on track by encouraging continued cooperation and support.

Are You Certain Your NFP is Ready for Corporate Partnerships?

A live webinar is available to help NFPs learn more about finding and approaching corporate partners. Introduction to Corporate Giving – Live Webinar will be available on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, in the following time zones: Eastern: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Central: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Mountain: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm or Pacific: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. The training is free and is a beginner’s look at the process of finding corporate prospects and best practices and tips for NFPs to craft and define a winning proposal.