For businesses, it can be far too easy to be distracted by the bottom line. From streamlining company organization to training employees and pioneering new products and services, much of what a business does is seen through the lens of what can bring in the most profit.
Now, stakeholders are starting to value aspects of a business other than profit. The rise of corporate social responsibility has caused many business leaders to reconsider the mission and values of their organizations. More companies than ever are investing in nonprofit initiatives, partnering with external organizations in many cases.
Conversely, nonprofits can often struggle to grapple with overhead costs while still carrying out their mission. For these organizations, a bit of support from a for-profit firm can be beneficial in the long run.
Creating A Valuable Partnership
A partnership cannot just occur because a business and a nonprofit operate in similar spaces. Instead, both organizations must consider the value that the other brings. Nonprofits should consider how they can help achieve the business’s objectives while still abiding by their mission. Businesses should consider their brand and values and whether or not this aligns with those of the nonprofit. If either organization goes into a partnership looking to benefit while contributing little, it will not be successful. Both should be aware of the value proposition they are providing and how it meshes with the other.
On either side, leaders in each organization can reach out and read the other’s annual reports and recent media. Hearing directly from employees is also a way to gain valuable, if anecdotal, insight into company values.
Benefits For Businesses
Partnering with a nonprofit can help a business redefine their mission and make the company more meaningful to employees, who can be recruited to assist with any joint initiatives. When employees feel invested in a business’s mission and values, they may be incentivized to remain with the company for longer.
Additionally, a nonprofit partnership can yield concrete benefits to the business in the form of increased exposure and media coverage. Businesses that aren’t sure of their brand should consider a partnership to cement themselves as an organization that cares about the community and giving back. And, in an age where companies are closely scrutinized, this is what every CEO should want.
Benefits For Nonprofits
The immediate benefits for nonprofits are obvious. Partnering with a for-profit organization can help acquire more funding and more exposure to the issues that they champion. Having another organization for support can allow for larger events and more outreach to the community. These sorts of initiatives can widen a nonprofit’s donor base and create further volunteering opportunities for individuals to invest in.
In the same way that businesses give employees the chance to give back, partnerships give nonprofit employees the chance to develop business and communications skills and trade knowledge. Though nonprofits and for-profits are different in mission, they are run in much the same way.
Partnerships can be a force for good in the community at large, prompting businesses and nonprofits alike to reevaluate their operations in a progressive manner. Both organizations should consider what they stand to gain from this sort of alliance—and what benefits they can bring to the table to make the most of it.