3 tips for strengthening nonprofit-corporate partnerships

The Brief 
Corporate partnerships are valuable to nonprofits for more than the dollars they bring in. Organizations new to the game need to learn both how to focus and how to let go. 

Knowing how to build strong relationships with corporate partners is critical to the longevity of any nonprofit organization. In a new webinar from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Karen Gallagher, director of Development & Communications at The Moyer Foundation, gives three key tips for successful coalition building. 

1.     Focus on what you can offer.

First things first: what can your nonprofit give a company in exchange for their support? Even a small nonprofit without the resources for extravagant insider events can offer site visits and volunteer opportunities. “You have to look at what your assets are and what you have to offer,” Gallagher says. If your organization addresses an underrepresented niche, emphasize how you can help connect your corporate partners to that base and raise their profile within that community.

2.     Set goals and stick to them.

When working with a new partner, no matter how many great new ideas they have, it’s imperative to keep your organization’s key mission in mind to avoid “mission creep,” says Gallagher. To stay on track, Gallagher recommends being thoughtful and strategic about setting common goals.

3.     Be open-minded.

One advantage of a corporate partner is their operational expertise. Don’t squander it by holding on too tightly to the old way of doing thing; this is an opportunity for your organization to grow. “It’s easy to keep thinking inside the same box and keep your program the way you first conceived it,” says Gallagher, “but there are always opportunities for expanding that.” Be open to new suggestions and strategies that may help you achieve your goals in an unexpected way.

For more tips for seeking corporate support and building successful partnerships, including how to recognize the elements of a successful partnership and strategies for navigating the corporate landscape, be sure to download the full webinar from The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Relationship Science: Corporate Grants and Partnerships: How to Form Lasting Ties.

RelSci provides a relationship capital platform that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. Check out the full webinar at the link below: 

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