We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—research shows that 86% of people say they would purchase from a purpose-driven company, while 76% of people believe it’s no longer acceptable for companies just to make money. That, along with many other reasons ranging from employee engagement to tax incentives, altruism, and more, is why corporate social responsibility (and, specifically, corporate giving) continues to grow in popularity and demand.
In other words, the benefits of the perfect nonprofit partnership spread far and wide.
But how can you locate the right organization to support? We’ll explore six powerful tips for picking the perfect partner in this guide. These include:
- Looking locally.
- Considering related missions and values.
- Prioritizing shared audiences.
- Diversifying your partnerships.
- Seeing where your employees are giving.
- Employing corporate giving software.
Ready to locate the right prospect for your team? Let’s get started.
1. Look locally.
Thanks to technology, the organizations with which your company can partner are no longer limited to those in a particular geographic area. However, that doesn’t mean local nonprofit groups aren’t going to be some of your best prospects when it comes to developing meaningful, symbiotic corporate philanthropy relationships.
As you begin your search, we recommend looking locally first—then expanding your efforts if need be. After all, partnering with organizations that operate in and benefit the areas in which your company also functions allows your team to give back directly to your own communities. Not to mention, it can offer additional opportunities for more hands-on involvement, allowing your business to produce more immediate results and impact.
2. Consider related missions and values.
Nonprofits come in all shapes, sizes, and mission types—from education institutions and medical research to social justice missions and disaster relief organizations. When seeking a potential partner for your business, it’s a good idea to find a group whose missions and values align with your own.
Check a few examples of this idea:
- A pet grooming and boarding business partnering with an animal shelter or rescue mission to sponsor a fundraising event;
- A local restaurant or grocery store partnering with a food pantry or soup kitchen to provide in-kind donations of food supplies;
- A solar panel equipment supplier partnering with a clean and sustainable energy nonprofit by offering grant funding;
- A technology manufacturer partnering with a K-12 STEM program to donate laptops and tablets used to pursue computer literacy training;
- A fashion company partnering with a fair labor organization to advocate for healthy working conditions.
- A fitness center partnering with a health and lifestyle nonprofit to promote accessibility of physical activity in underserved communities.
- A religious bookstore partnering with a faith-based charity to distribute free religious texts or other materials.
Identifying an organization or mission type that’s a natural fit for your business can go a long way toward ensuring each of your goals and objectives are met during the course of your partnership. Plus, it sets you up for long-term relationship potential, too!
3. Prioritize shared audiences.
Beyond the mission itself, another element to consider in your search for the perfect nonprofit partner is each of your target audiences—and, ideally, the overlap the two share. Generally, the more significant the overlap between your company’s primary audience and a nonprofit’s primary audience, the better suited your partnership is likely to be.
For example, let’s say you conduct an analysis of your target market and determine that your optimal audience is millennial women who are active on social media platforms. From there, you identify two possible nonprofit partners. One is an organization that targets seniors and retired persons aged 65+, and the other primarily focuses on young professionals aged 25-35. You’ll likely want to choose the latter based on your shared audience!
Keep in mind that a nonprofit typically targets two key—and often different—audiences. These include the group to which they market their services and the group to which they market their fundraising initiatives. While both segments can certainly come into play as you weigh your options, you’ll likely want to focus on the organization’s donors and volunteers.
4. Diversify your partnerships.
In all this talk of locating the “perfect” partner for your business, keep in mind that there’s no rule saying you have to choose just one—or even two!
In fact, diversifying the organizations you support allows you to impact a broader range of causes and produce more significant benefits for the world around you. Plus, it can help you build stronger relationships with additional communities, stakeholders, audiences, and more.
In other words, the more, the merrier. That is, so long as you’re not stretching your company’s resources too thin.
5. See where your employees are giving.
Giving to any kind of nonprofit organization is sure to boost your company’s CSR—and with it, your reputation amongst consumers and employees alike. But if you’re looking to really engage your staff with your charitable giving efforts, consider giving to the organizations to which they themselves dedicate their support.
Team members will love seeing their employer partnering with their favorite causes while taking on the role of researching and identifying top partnership prospects.
A few of the best ways to do so include matching individual donations and offering volunteer grants. These types of programs allow your company to amplify the support that employees are already offering to nonprofit causes.
On the other hand, you might encourage staff to nominate nonprofit causes for community grants or other partnership opportunities by your business, or even gift employees set amounts of charitable dollars that they can contribute to the charities of their choice!
6. Employ corporate giving software.
With any potential nonprofit partner, it’s important to enlist a thorough screening process to ensure the organizations you ultimately support are legitimate, financially transparent, and effective in their efforts.
But you don’t have to do the research yourself! In fact, this is where a dedicated CSR platform can come in handy. For example, Selflessly offers direct access to more than 1.7 million registered charities—from local grassroots organizations to global nonprofits. You and your team can rest assured knowing that the causes receiving your corporate funding are pre-approved and ready to go.
Not to mention, the right technology can also make the giving—and matching—process itself as easy as can be.
Working with a nonprofit (or nonprofits!) can be a great way for companies to give back to the communities in which they operate. Plus, it helps increase brand awareness, improve overall reputations, and more. However, locating the perfect partner for your business requires careful consideration to ensure both teams ultimately benefit from the relationship.
If you’re ready to make your mark on the world, start by implementing the above practices in your nonprofit search. Then, work with your newly established partner to craft a plan that pushes each team toward its goals.
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