Nonprofits rely on communication and cooperation. A nonprofit’s ability to promote its cause influences fundraising, volunteer participation, and corporate partnerships. A corporation may have manpower, resources, and a reputation that it can use to advance a charity’s goals. By approaching a local or global business, a nonprofit organization can create a partnership to aid it in a singular event or an ongoing mission. Here are five things to keep in mind when approaching a company to assist a nonprofit:

1. Do the research

First and foremost, a nonprofit should choose a corporation that is willing and able to promote a partnership. In the modern information age, there are plenty of ways to research potential corporate partners, including reading news stories, visiting the company’s Web pages, and reviewing business practice reports.

The Harvard Business Review pointed out a few things nonprofits should look out for when selecting a company to approach. For example, ensure the corporation will not negatively affect the nonprofit’s reputation. The Harvard Business Review warned that corporations quick to throw their name behind a good cause might need flattering public relations. Look into the corporation’s goals and practices before seeking or accepting help. 

It’s also important to research before starting the partnership process so that time and resources are not wasted. The information help personalize the pitch the nonprofit makes to a corporation.

2. Mutual goals encourage investment

Once a nonprofit has collected information on a company and its goal, it can use the knowledge to convince the corporation that a partnership would benefit both parties.

Outside of the usual positive PR associated with promoting a charity, the nonprofit may be able to offer a company unique advantages. The corporation may be interested in saving the environment, working with disadvantaged youth, or other causes they can take part in directly.

If you want a corporation to be truly involved, give the company’s leadership a role in the effort. Getting CEOs on board with corporate partnerships is essential to ensure the endeavor has the company’s full attention.

3. Work with available resources

Once a corporation that is motivated and ready to help is found, it is time to decide how the company can best aid the cause.

First, find what companies are willing to do. If they just want to give money, they can. In the research phase, find what materials they have available and how they can be used. Prepare plans and partnership activities to suggest based on the company’s resources.

KITV4, a Honolulu, Hawaii, news station, shared the story of a homeless support organization partnering with a local hotel to provide transportation for people living on the streets. The hotel used its off-duty shuttles to transport homeless people who need help to shelters or hospitals. The partnership leads to tools for the nonprofit and cost-efficient PR for the hotel.

4. Employees become volunteers

Nonprofits with volunteer opportunities for the corporation’s employees can increase the cooperation between the two organizations. Fast Company Magazine encouraged companies to pay their employees to volunteer, as it will help reinforce soft skills for certain industry workers and could create a good relationship with the local community.

A nonprofit can approach a business with various volunteering options that utilize a broad spectrum of talent and opportunities. Providing multiple volunteer programs may encourage skilled individuals to participate in a cause and give corporations the benefits their employees seek.

5. Have a professional appearance

A corporation analyzes success in numbers. While the company may be on board with a cause, it is used to seeing a measurable return on its investments.

Meeting a corporation’s need for professionalism helps an organization stand out as a viable partner. A nonprofit should have an infrastructure in place that manages volunteers, provides communication tools for supporters, and measures fundraising success. Having this system in place during the initial meeting will show a corporation that its donated resources will be properly and efficiently used.

A nonprofit can make use of modern technological tools to create this material. Nonprofit management software will collect and analyze data from an organization’s practices and activities and help coordinate future volunteers, supporters, and fundraising efforts in the future. Nonprofits should employ all necessary tools to show potential corporate partners they’re serious about their mutual success.