Preparing for Corporate Partnerships
Before an organization goes in to meet with a company, Daw advises it look at its presentation from the company’s perspective, then sit down with the company and look at how you can achieve your goals together. Outline outcomes that both sides want to achieve. Then create and execute the partnership, and that means coming through on things you’ve promised to do.
“Make sure that when you make commitments in a partnership, you deliver on those commitments and that you really keep the lines of communication open. It is a partnership, so you’ve got to communicate, keep in touch, make sure that what you’ve said you’re going to do, you deliver on and that you know the outcomes are there both for the nonprofit but also for your corporate partner,” Daw says
She recommends putting together a memorandum of understanding that outlines what both parties have committed to, outlines some key times when you’ll connect and communicate, and establishes one person — an account manager, of sorts — who will be the point of contact for the company.
Depending on its length, create a process for evaluating the partnership. How can you keep it fresh and celebrate it? Make changes according to what’s working and what might not be working.
Daw says one of the most exciting things about working on a partnership as opposed to just getting a corporate donation are the doors it can open. The New York City Food Bank, for example, in trying to get a corporate partner, realized that one of its assets was that it was a bank and looked at ways it could develop partnerships with financial banks that would be mutually beneficial.
The Food Bank approached several senior people in the banking world with the idea and they got on board, recognizing that it was a great way to engage employees and get them involved with the community. Banks set up food drop-off spots and lent their name, some of their marketing and some of their staff to the partnership.