Maxie Carpenter Challenges Charities to Maximize Corporate Partnerships is Carpenter’s take on how to make a “reciprocal ask.” Here’s what the founder of The Leadership Consortium has to to share: We all know that a lot of major money comes from major Corporate Partnerships. For Nonprofits to maximize these kinds of partnerships, they must first ask 5 questions.
The answers mean the difference between productive vs non-productive partnerships:
1. What does the Nonprofit want or expect from a corporate partnership?
2. What cultural issues or differences can a Nonprofit expect to confront in establishing a successful partnership?
3. How does a Nonprofit identify the best opportunities and are there specific criteria that make for an ideal partner?
4. How can a corporate partnership best be optimized and leveraged?
5. How would the success of a corporate collaboration be measured?
Maxie Carpenter Challenges Charities to Maximize Corporate Partnerships
Let’s take them one at a time.
1. When determining what you want from your partner, there are several considerations. What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? What are the benefits? What are the liabilities? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? Most important, what can they provide in terms of the outcomes your organization must have? Nonprofits don’t always consider to this degree beyond the money, which doesn’t support a long-term partnership.
2. When determining what cultural differences may exist, there are several considerations. Does their mission align to some degree with yours? Does their vision align to some degree with yours? Do their core values align to some degree with yours? Does their operating philosophy align to some degree with yours? Does their ethical foundation align to some degree with yours? Nonprofits don’t always research these considerations before entering these kinds of partnerships. They’re sole focus is on the money, which doesn’t support a long-term partnership.
3. When determining what makes for an ideal partner, there are several considerations. Do we want the same things? If we do, we have mutual opportunities. Do we have mutual respect? If we do, we’ll always communicate with each other. Do we understand that adding value is a mutual objective? If we do, we’ll both stay focused on the only reason for our partnership, which is to get results. Nonprofits sometimes get so focused on the process that they lose focus on their partnerships, which results in lack of communication.
4. When determining how best to leverage the partnership, there are several considerations. Don’t take the relationship for granted at any point in time. Always invest more in the relationship than is expected. Always look for positive ways to acknowledge the value of the relationship. Communicate with the partner on a scheduled basis. Interact with the partner at every opportunity where there is a mutual benefit to be shared together. Inconsistent communication as a rule still plagues the Nonprofit sector to this day.
5. When determining how to measure the success of the partnership, there are several considerations. Know budget constraints and plan accordingly. Know your Strategic Objectives and plan accordingly. Know the decision-makers and interact accordingly. Know all constituents and interact accordingly. Know your limitations and allocate accordingly. Nonprofits must consider sustainability post COVID-19 to a much greater degree than before!
As you can see, there are many considerations with determining the right partnerships that will return the most benefit for both parties. Many Nonprofits are ill-prepared to accommodate these partnerships and in fairness to Nonprofits, many corporations are also ill-prepared.
If it has to start somewhere, let it start with Nonprofits.
Maxie Carpenter Challenges Charities to Maximize Corporate Partnerships was first posted at National Development Institute
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