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Why Corporate Partnerships are Important for Nonprofit Organizations

Did you know that corporate partnerships are one of the most efficient and effective ways for nonprofit organizations to raise money and awareness? In fact, according to a recent study 94% of major US firms want to continue or grow their charity giving.

In this guide, we will discuss how to facilitate these partnerships, and how nonprofits and corporations can benefit from them. We will also provide some examples of corporate partnerships.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Connect with companies in your local community with our Corporate Partnership Letter

What is a corporate partnership?

A corporate partnership is a mutually beneficial relationship between a nonprofit and a for-profit company. The partnership allows the company to support the important work of the nonprofit, while also meeting its own business goals. The partnership can take many forms, but all partnerships should have three key components:

  1. A shared goal or mission. Both the nonprofit and the corporation should have a common goal that they are working towards. For example, if the nonprofit's mission is to end childhood hunger, the corporation's goal might be to reduce food waste in its supply chain.
  2. A mutually beneficial exchange. Both the nonprofit and the corporation should benefit from the partnership. For example, the nonprofit might receive financial support or in-kind donations from the corporation, while the corporation might receive positive publicity or a tax deduction.
  3.  A commitment of time and resources. Both the nonprofit and the corporation should be committed to making the partnership a success. This might involve dedicating staff time to work on the partnership, or providing financial resources.

How to Find Corporate Sponsors

The first step in finding corporate sponsors is to identify potential partners. To do this, you will need to research companies that align with your mission and values. There are a few different ways that you can find potential corporate sponsors for your nonprofit. One way is to look for companies that have supported your organization in the past. You can also look for companies that support similar organizations, or that have a corporate giving program.

Another way to find potential sponsors is to search online databases, like GrantStation or Foundation Center. These databases can help you find companies that support nonprofits like yours.

How to Approach Corporate Sponsors

Once you have identified potential partners, you will need to reach out and make a pitch. When making your pitch, it is important to remember that you are asking for a partnership, not a donation. You should focus on how the partnership will benefit both the company and the nonprofit. For example, you might say that the company's products will be promoted to your network of supporters, or that the company will receive positive publicity from its association with your organization.

It is also important to remember that companies are more likely to partner with organizations that have a strong online presence. Make sure to showcase your website and social media platforms when you make your pitch.


How To Facilitate a Corporate Partnership

Once you have found a corporate partner, it is important to nurture the relationship. The most important thing is to ensure that both the nonprofit and the corporation have a shared goal and a commitment to making the partnership a success. Here are some tips on how to facilitate a corporate partnership: 

1. Define the goals of the partnership. What does each organization hope to achieve? What are the shared goals of the partnership? Some examples of shared goals might be:
  • Supporting the nonprofit's programs and services
  • Increasing awareness of the nonprofit's cause
  • Engaging employees in corporate social responsibility
  • Reducing food waste in the corporation's supply chain
  • To improve the health of the community
  1. Draft a partnership agreement. This should be a written document that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each organization, as well as the expectations for the partnership.
  2. Identify a point person. Each organization should designate someone to be the primary contact for the partnership. This person will be responsible for coordinating communication and activities between the two organizations.
  3. Set up a meeting. Once the goals of the partnership have been defined and a partnership agreement has been drafted, it's time to set up a meeting between the representatives of each organization. This is an opportunity to get to know each other and start working on a plan for the partnership.
  4. Implement the partnership. Once the meeting has taken place and a plan has been developed, it's time to start implementing the partnership. This might involve developing marketing materials, organizing events, or raising awareness for the cause.
  5. Evaluate the partnership. After a period of time, it's important to evaluate the partnership. This will help to identify what is working well and what could be improved. It's also an opportunity to discuss the goals of the partnership and make sure that they are still relevant.

How Do Nonprofits Benefit From Corporate Partnerships?

There are many ways that nonprofits can benefit from corporate partnerships. The most obvious benefit is financial support, which can help the nonprofit to achieve its goals. Other benefits include:

  • In-kind charitable donations. Corporations can donate goods or services to the nonprofit, which can save the organization money.
  • Technical expertise. Corporations can provide the nonprofit with access to technical expertise or specialized knowledge.
  • Enhanced credibility. A corporate partner can give the nonprofit enhanced credibility, which can attract more donors and volunteers.
  • Employee volunteerism. Corporate employees can volunteer their time to support the nonprofit's work.
  • Workplace giving. Corporations can offer employees the opportunity to donate to the nonprofit through payroll deduction.
  • Positive publicity. A corporate partnership can generate positive publicity for the nonprofit, which can help to increase awareness and support for the organization.

How Do Corporate Companies Benefit From Nonprofit Partnerships?

Corporate companies can also benefit from corporate partnerships with nonprofits. The most obvious benefit is the tax deduction that the company can receive for its financial support of the nonprofit. Other benefits include:

  • Positive publicity. Partnering with a nonprofit can generate positive publicity for the company, which can help to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  • Enhanced credibility. Corporate partnerships can give the company enhanced credibility, which can attract more customers and business partners.
  • Employee engagement. Corporate employees can be motivated and engaged by the opportunity to support a worthy cause through their workplace. In fact, according to NP Source, 92% of corporate human resources executives agree that volunteering business skills and knowledge to a nonprofit can help employees develop their leadership and other professional qualities.
  • Corporate social responsibility. A corporate partnership can help the company to demonstrate its commitment to social responsibility.
  • Customer loyalty. Customers may be more likely to support a company that is partnered with a nonprofit.

What Do Corporate – Nonprofit Partnerships Look Like? Examples?

There are many different types of corporate-nonprofit partnerships, and the specific details will vary depending on the goals of the partnership. Some common types of partnerships include:

Sponsorships

A corporation can sponsor a specific event or program organized by the nonprofit. In exchange for financial support, the corporation may receive recognition at the event or in promotional materials.

How Can a Non-Profit Get Corporate Funding?

A corporation may award a grant to the nonprofit to support its work. The grant may be given with no strings attached, or the corporation may require the nonprofit to submit a report detailing how the grant money was used. Grantmaking programs are often structured as competitive processes, with nonprofits submitting proposals for funding.

Cause Marketing

A corporation can support a specific cause related to the nonprofit's work. In exchange for financial support, the corporation may receive recognition as a supporter of the cause.

Product Donations

A corporation can donate products to the nonprofit, which can be used to support the organization's work or sold to generate revenue.

Employee Volunteerism

Corporate employees can volunteer their time to support the nonprofit's work. The company may provide financial support for the employees' volunteer efforts.

Workplace Giving

Corporations can offer employees the opportunity to donate to the nonprofit through payroll deduction. The company may also provide matching funds for employee donations.

Grant-Making

A corporation can provide financial support to a nonprofit through grant-making. Grantmaking programs are often structured as competitive processes, with nonprofits submitting proposals for funding.

Why Should You Engage in a Corporate Partnership?

There are many reasons why you should engage in a corporate partnership. Here are a few:

  • To achieve your mission. Corporate partnerships can help you to achieve your mission by providing financial support, technical expertise, or other resources.
  • To increase your visibility. Corporate partnerships can help to increase visibility for your organization, which can attract more donors and volunteers.
  • To engage your employees. Corporate employees can be engaged and motivated by the opportunity to support a worthy cause through their workplace.
  • To demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility. As earlier stated, the corporate partnership can help you to demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility, which can attract more customers and business partners.

Volunteer Management Software

As your organization begins to form partnerships with corporations, you will likely find that managing volunteers becomes more complex. To help you track corporate volunteers and ensure that they are properly utilized, you may want to consider using volunteer management software. Volunteer management software is designed to help organizations recruit, train, and manage volunteers. The software can also be used to track the impact of corporate volunteer programs.

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