How to Partner With For-Profits for
Mutual Gain

Choosing a for-profit partner for your nonprofit has tremendous potential to help your organization and drive your mission forward, if you do it right. And today, when traditional funding sources are smaller than ever, corporate partnership is a strategy you can’t afford to ignore. And there are many great examples where such partnerships are a genuine win-win.

Cause marketing, the most popular type of nonprofit/for-profit partnership, was a strategy used initially by national high-profile organizations like American Express and  The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. But today’s options for effective cause marketing are much broader than that, reaching to the local level. But the key question remains: How do you assess whether cause marketing is the right strategy to pursue and, if so, how to start?

For answers, I turned to Joe Waters, one of the best cause marketers (and bloggers) I know and co-author of the recently-published Cause Marketing for Dummies (partner link). Here’s a sampling of his expert guidance:

Nancy: Joe, we all hear about the big players and their successes. How can small and medium nonprofits get started with cause marketing?

Joe: A lot of nonprofits begin with developing a program idea and listing the companies they want to approach. That’s not a bad start, but I have a better one: Start by looking within your organization for assets that can jump-start your program. Assets are things you already have that are of value to a cause marketing partnership.
One of the most valuable assets is an existing connection to a company. You might have a CEO that personally supports your cause. Or your organization might have a longstanding vendor relationship with a company that would make a good candidate for cause marketing. Other assets include events, social media – anything a company would value in a partnership.
For more of Joe’s insights into how your organization can put cause marketing to work, read the full interview here.P.S. Get more in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in Cause Marketing | 0 comments
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