Building a Healthy and Lasting Philanthropic Relationship

There is no denying the simple fact that relationships between businesses and nonprofits should be mutually beneficial. That is, each entity should feel as though the partnership is providing measurable value. This key takeaway should lay the foundation for all interactions as both sides come to the table to discuss developing a relationship. Businesses, while keeping their best interests in mind, should approach any conversations with a nonprofit with a keen understanding of their ideal partnership in mind, and vice versa.

Tips for a business:

  • Think like a nonprofit. What can you offer them that would be truly beneficial, while also providing you the most bang for your buck?
    • Nonprofits need money. It’s no secret that monetary gifts are high, if not top, on the list of needs. If you have funds to give, nonprofits have a laundry list of ways they’re willing to reward you for your generosity. Don’t be afraid to ask.
    • Nonprofits need volunteers. Do you have staff members looking to give back to the community? Inquire how you can help with gifts of service.
      • This is a two for one opportunity. Are you able to allow staff to volunteer during work hours? You’ll be doing good in the community while providing your employees a fun and rewarding opportunity to get out of the office and give back.
    • Nonprofits need exposure as well. The best way to acquire new donors is for them to know you exist. If you’re willing to share their message, they’ll likely be eager to work with you. And, your customers will know that you’re invested in the community.

Tips for a nonprofit:

  • Think like a business. What can you offer that is cost-effective and embodies thoughtful donor stewardship?
    • Businesses often have budgets set aside for philanthropic giving. Explore your needs, as well as the interests of the company and play matchmaker. In the end, allow the company to make the choice that suits them best and you’re on your way to a lasting partnership.
    • Don’t push a business to stretch too far outside of their comfort zone. The key to a lasting relationship is trust. Gracefully and appreciatively accepting their offer will allow you build on their previous commitment year after year.
    • Be creative and open to suggestions when thinking of all of the ways you can publicly recognize a business for their contributions with minimal impact on your budget.

Above all, valuing the partnership will aid in building a mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship.

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