Getting the attention of corporate partnerships can sometimes be like getting someone to take your order at a busy restaurant where waiters look elsewhere but your way. It would be great to just buzz a button and get them instantly by your side.
Attracting and retaining corporate partners takes careful planning and now is the perfect time to start working on your 2019 plans.
Corporate philanthropy is rapidly evolving. Companies are expected to take a leadership role in solving important social issues. For companies who are new to philanthropy, the starting point would be to address social problems by partnering with nonprofit organizations as they are already aware of problems at ground level.
It’s an established fact that companies look towards CSR or cause marketing to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Companies are becoming more strategic as they search for nonprofit partners who align with their social purpose and their brand.
So, what do corporate decision-makers look for in nonprofit partnerships? The same as corporate partnerships- Impact and stories. The following are the top three factors for partner selection:
- Creating Awareness And Visibility
- Brand/Mission Alignment
- Showcasing Community Support/Social Responsibility
The main goal for both partners is to increase brand awareness and this is done through cause marketing, digital ads and marketing, volunteer events, media relations and affiliate participation.
Brand/Mission Alignment and Showcasing Community Support/Social Responsibility rank near the top of the list for partner selection. Keeping corporate partners once they are on board is crucial to long-term success. Some of the factors that lead to the end of a partnership are beyond the nonprofit’s control, but delivering what is promised and providing fresh ideas and strong stewardship can contribute significantly to partnership longevity.
What are the top two deal breakers?
- Nonprofit Not Delivering On What Was Promised
- Insufficient Support/Stewardship From Partners
Like any relationship, understanding each other’s needs is crucial. Meet and understand each other’s strengths so that both partners benefit from the union.
As nonprofits are sometimes run by volunteers, corporate partners might find them inefficient and lacking in resources. Make sure your hard work reaches its full potential by dedicating time and resources to cultivate, steward and recognize your partnerships.
Nonprofits shouldn’t be afraid to bring new ideas to the table and not depend fully on corporate decision makers to make things happen. Get creative with new technology, provide digital tools and storytelling that emotionally connects your partners and their target audience to your cause and helps drive reputation and sales.
Regular meetups help both parties to keep their plans on course. Evolve and grow together. Share feedback with each other.
Use this feedback to craft plans or renewals for the following year. It’s important to ask questions that will advance the partnership and learn what worked well and what needs to be changed. It takes much less time to renew existing partners versus securing new partners from a cold prospect list.
I can help you construct an achievable 2019 corporate partnership plan so that your long hours of prospecting, strategy, outreach, calls and negotiation ultimately pays off.