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A corporate-charity partnership can benefit your business in a number of ways. By affiliating your company with a nonprofit organization, you’ll build a very positive reputation for your brand. Consumers go for ethical brands with a clear sense of values, so if you market your business as doing something for a humanitarian cause, you’ll be more attractive to both clients and investors.


The idea behind a corporate-charity partnership is to form a collaboration that benefits both parties. The organization will benefit as well, by raising both money and awareness. It’s important to build a trusting, honest relationship and ensure your goals are focussed on the cause as well as your business.


It’s essential to find the right organization, one that aligns with your business and matches your products or services. Here are some tips on how to form a great corporate-charity partnership and how it can benefit your business.


Find a charity that aligns with your business


The most important thing in a corporate-charity partnership is shared values. You’ll need to look into individual cases such as Jos Opdeweegh or do your research into different organizations. It’s crucial to find a charity that aligns with your business, products, or services. 


By working with partners that share common principles with your business culture, you’ll be able to identify more with their social mission. It might be an idea to develop criteria for your ideal partnership. Do you want an environmental focus? Or would it make more sense to focus on human issues like healthcare or poverty?


Spend some time thinking about the products you sell. Perhaps you have a more environmental angle or humanitarian. If you sell sustainably sourced products it could be better to go with an eco-focused nonprofit. If you work in services, think about your customers. By creating buyer personas, you’ll be able to pick the charity that will most appeal to your target market.

You might also find it useful to consider what other brands are doing within your sphere. For instance, if you’re in the tech industry, then it might be inspirational to consider Amazon’s partnerships with local initiatives including Youth Eastside Services. Equally, if you’re in the domestic field, you may find it useful to think about Whirlpool’s work with Teach for America, as outlined by David Shulick in this article. The main thing to bear in mind is that you and your team need to be passionate about whatever partnership you embark on. That way, you can guarantee that you’ll all be willing to put in the work necessary to ensure its success. 


Set clear goals


It’s important to define your goals before embarking on this type of project. Are you aiming to make your business more eco-friendly for example? Think about what this partnership can do for your marketing strategy. The more you post of social media about your involvement in charity the better, so it’s important to have clear goals about what you want to achieve.


Don’t forget that the charity has goals as well. You’ll have to plan your fundraising strategy together. You’ll probably want to pick an amount that you want to raise if fundraising if your main goal. It can be more complicated than just reaching one monetary goal, however. It depends on the nature of your partnership. You will also need to use innovative thinking to reach both your audiences and raise awareness for the cause.


Go beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR)


By associating your business with a nonprofit you will be able to boost your corporate social responsibility. Practicing in CSR means you can be conscious of the kind of impact your business has on economical, social, and environmental aspects of society. 


CSR is very valuable to your company. Charitable activities such as volunteering can help to forge a bond between employees, boost morale, and make your staff feel more connected with the world around them. You’ll also be able to benefit society while boosting your brand at the same time. 


In this partnership, you will need to go beyond CSR. You will need to really show how your company can help the charity make a difference. It’s important to link in your products, services, and staff, or even property space to find ways to achieve the goals of the charity. Partner on events, programs that fit you as a business, and your resources. This way you will boost publicity for both your company and the charity, and go beyond CSR.


Include key leaders and decision-makers


You’ll need to include key leaders and decision-makers from both your company and the chosen charity. It might be wise to also engage stakeholders. Team leaders and innovators should be involved from the start. They can input ideas and clarify what resources are available. 


By including a core team of leaders from both your business and the charity you will be able to engage both of your stakeholders. You can even use them as a focus group or in brainstorming sessions. They’ll help you with ideas to reach out to your target market.


Nonprofit stakeholders also have an important role to play. They are often vital to a sustainable and profitable fund-raising event. These can include donors, patrons, other business services, volunteers, and even the beneficiaries the charity serves as part of their mission.  


Form an equal relationship


As with any important business relationship, it’s important to treat each other with respect. You should always aim to form an equal relationship between both parties. It’s necessary to recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes the charity might feel as if your business has the upper hand if they’ve supplied funding. It’s important to understand what else they can offer.


The staff at the nonprofit will have expertise in dealing with everything in the charity sector and any social issues that may need to be addressed. Find out what you can learn from each other and your business will benefit even more. 


Be open and honest


Even if you come across difficulties in your business relationship it’s important to be open and honest. Just as transparency in business can be vital to your success, you need to keep your charity partners in the loop as well. Try to ensure an open, honest working relationship. The more you work together the more both parties will benefit. This will hopefully prevent any unnecessary conflicts that may arise.


In order to build a successful corporate-charity partnership, you need to define your goals,  choose the right organization, and figure out how you can help each other achieve them. With the expertise of the nonprofit and your business knowledge, you’ll build a collaboration that will greatly benefit you both.