Thought Leadership

Non-profits: Here’s 3 tips to enhance your corporate partnerships

You may have heard that our president Shelley Mayer hosted a panel, ‘Getting to the heart of successful partnerships in conversation with TELUS and Kids’ Health Links’ at the Corporate Partnerships Conference last month.

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Categories: Thought Leadership

June 24, 2019

You may have heard that our president Shelley Mayer hosted a panel, Getting to the heart of successful partnerships in conversation with TELUS and Kids’ Health Links’ at the Corporate Partnerships Conference last month. There were valuable tips and takeaways for non-profits throughout all of the conference sessions. Fundraisers and corporations alike were invited to discuss how to spark and sustain stronger corporate partnerships between charities and brands.

The prevailing theme from all presenters, regardless of their sector, was ALIGNMENT. The most successful corporate partnerships occur when the values of the corporation directly align with the non-profit’s mission and supporters.

My biggest takeaways for building stronger corporate partnerships for the non-profit sector:

Corporate partnerships and corporate marketing goals go hand in hand.

Chris Baylis, from the Sponsorship Collective, kicked off the day with this strong reminder: corporate partners need and want an exploitable marketing opportunity with the niche audience of your charity’s supporters. Corporations don’t measure success by the number of logos placed at your event. The depth and breadth of the positive experiences the brand has with the audience are the most valuable measure of success. The stronger the overlap between the non-profit’s supporters and the corporation’s target market, the greater the likelihood of securing an ongoing corporate sponsorship.

Corporations want deep and meaningful partnerships.

Corporate groups don’t just want to paint a wall or plant a tree once a year. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are realizing that descending onto an organization with hundreds of staff in one day doesn’t create the most value for the organization and its employees. CSR programs have started to acknowledge the real costs non-profits have to undertake to host an annual giving day, in other words, the most sustainable CSR programs are the ones that encourage skills-based volunteer opportunities for employees.

Employee engagement is evolving.

Deloitte shared the evolution of their employee engagement strategy. They’ve shifted their focus to provide employees with more meaningful opportunities. Furthermore, meeting the actual needs of the non-profit partner through skills-based volunteer opportunities. TELUS takes skills-based volunteering one step further. Its employees occasionally serve on the Board of Directors of the charitable partners TELUS supports. Skills-based volunteering is a win-win to utilize the corporate partners’ skills to benefit your non-profit.

Need help with your corporate partnership strategy? Send us a note.

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