- Corporate social responsibility
- Grant management & grant making
- Foundations & grantmakers
- Corporate Social Responsibility
There are plenty of creative ways your nonprofit organization can locate new donors and tap into the power of individual gifts, but one of the most effective ways is through local business partnerships.
Local businesses act as a funnel for new donors, and your organization has a lot to offer these businesses in return. Your partnership can provide a boost to their brand image, team-building opportunities, and a concrete way to implement their corporate social responsibility policy.
Let’s dive into how to find the best local business partnership for your nonprofit’s needs.
It’s important to select a business to partner with that aligns with your organization's purpose, needs, and goals. To help you acquire new donors, a strong partnership with a local business must have these three essential characteristics:
You’ll see the most success from partnerships where the business and your organization share an audience. When you’re ready to pursue a partnership, start by making a list of local businesses whose audiences overlap with yours.
For example, if your nonprofit is an animal shelter, a pet supply store would make an ideal partner. If you serve low-income families, on the other hand, a grocery store may be a strong choice. If you work for a widely popular cause such as sustainability, you may find success with a spectrum of businesses that have a more general audience.
The real key to a partnership that generates gifts for your organization is to connect your partnership’s message to a purpose their audience cares about. Even if a business’s audience isn’t in perfect alignment with your typical audience, you can often frame the project in terms that resonate with them.
For example, let’s say your nonprofit organization helps to connect entrepreneurs who are people of color with affordable small business loans, and you want to create a partnership with one of the municipalities that many of your entrepreneurs call home. You may want to create a campaign specifically for this partner, focused on the entrepreneurs who live in their municipality.
Once you’ve selected a business you want to partner with, clearly point out how a partnership with your nonprofit organization will benefit them. Create messaging that lays out each of the benefits and explains how they will make a difference to the company’s wellbeing.
Local business partnerships can look different depending on your audience and the business’s resources. Consider these partnership ideas:
No matter what type of campaigns you create through your local business partnership, be sure to collect contact information from donors and volunteers. Follow up with a thank-you note and add them to your fundraising CRM so they don’t miss out on future updates and communications.
While many small nonprofits overlook corporate partnerships, local businesses are often a perfect opportunity since they typically share a desire to improve the community. Use your creativity to brainstorm ideas for local business partnerships that rest on the three foundational pillars we’ve shared here, and you’ll build an effective source of individual gifts.