When running a nonprofit, it can be all too easy for other companies to forget that you are, in fact, responsible for a business. Although your goals might be structured around creating change in the world, nonprofits still need business plans that incorporate market analysis, financial projections, and implementation strategy.
With this in mind, partnering with a for-profit business can help you to achieve your fundraising targets. Sometimes a partnership with a local business is all it might take for your nonprofit to benefit from unique industry insights.
However, whether you are working for a relatively new nonprofit, or have been in the sector for a while, approaching businesses regarding a potential partnership can still seem overwhelming. So, let us discover 3 tips that can help your nonprofit to secure business partnerships more easily.
- Look for Businesses With Similar Values
Core values are the principles or beliefs that underlie an organization. It is these guiding values that dictate behaviour and help companies to determine if they are on the right path to fulfilling their goals.
Correspondingly, it makes sense that businesses that practice social responsibility usually commit to supporting a few social, cultural, or environmental issues. If these values align with the mission of your nonprofit, then there is a chance that the business will be happy to have you on board.
Not sure where to begin? Start by researching small to middle sized businesses in your area. Your chances of securing a partnership are much higher if the business has not yet been approached by other nonprofits.
When doing your research, you can learn a lot about a business from their website and social media pages. What are their missions and values? Have they conducted philanthropic activities in the past? Try to find someone at the company that you can reach out to for a conversation.
Moreover, remember to compare your audiences. Both the audience of your nonprofit and the audience of the business you are hoping to partner with should have multiple things in common.
For example, if you work for a nonprofit that focuses on promoting the wellbeing of children, partnering with a business that targets parents can help you to secure a mutually beneficial relationship as your audiences are well aligned.
- Money Is Not Everything
Although it is impossible for a nonprofit to function without adequate funds, it might be more helpful to begin the conversation with a business about a potential partnership without thinking about the potential monetary gains.
Instead, look for opportunities to use the skills and experiences of your nonprofit to benefit the business that you are hoping to partner with. For example, if you both serve the same community, you could look for ways to use their products or services to benefit a specific demographic or cause.
Put simply, this means that your partnership pitch needs to contain more than just a fundraising goal. Aim to home in on ways that you can join forces to engage with your local community, create volunteering opportunities, and add additional value to their business.
For instance, perhaps you have a large following on social media and making a post about their products or services could raise awareness of their brand? Again, be clear and concise about your hopes without focusing too heavily on cash incentives.
- Think About the Future
Once you have successfully managed to gain a partnership, the hard work can begin. Maintaining your partnership is all about making sure that the business you have chosen to work with is happy with the outcomes of your arrangement.
Touch base regularly by sharing how company funds are helping your nonprofit. Doing so enables your partner to quantify return on investment.
Ask your new partner for ways that your nonprofit can support their company and add value. For example, perhaps you can connect them with civic leaders, community partners, or other local resources.
Moreover, prepare to file reports of events, social media metrics, and donation statistics to show just how your bond is having an impact. Do not forget that thanking the business publicly for their efforts can also reaffirm their decision to partner with you.
Ultimately, it is no secret that establishing business partnerships can seem intimidating at first. Above all, when looking for potential partners for your nonprofit, try to seek out mutually beneficial relationships and always make sure to have a business plan that outlines your goals and highlights your aspirations for long term success.