Nonprofit Collaboration – Step Up. Team Up.

Partnerships between non-governmental organizations and companies is not a new concept. From the NFL and the Komen Foundation to local PTA’s encouraging parents to eat at local restaurants to support school supplies, these partnerships have helped meet community needs beyond what the government can provide.

It’s been my experience that national and regional partnerships require an abundance of paperwork, legal protections, massive marketing and communication budgets, and staff time. Smaller grassroots partnerships between local nonprofits and small businesses are held back by cynicism. Companies question their ROI; nonprofits walk away with insignificant funds raised compared to the amount of labor invested in running a successful event.

Healthy ROI’s and met fundraising goals will follow

But what if we could change this? Recent events and hell, the entirety of 2020 have shown us that our government and its agencies have their work cut out for them to keep public health in check. We live during a time where “What’s my ROI and How come we haven’t met our fundraising goals?” are not the questions we should be asking. Instead, all of us should be asking what we can do to help preserve this nation’s goodness. How can we lift one another? How can we take care of each other? Healthy ROI’s and met fundraising goals will follow.

Nonprofit Collaboration Example:

Here is an example. I recently spoke to a former nonprofit colleague whose job got cut from full-time to part-time. He was grateful to have a job still but was also terrified about how he would continue to provide the same quality of life for his family. As it turned out, on his own time, he filled his cup with cooking. The nonprofit he worked for held many events and partnered with a local restaurant for fundraising events. He thought to explore his love for everything culinary, so he asked the restaurant if they were hiring. They said no due to his professional inexperience in the culinary arts and more pressing due to lack of business resulting from COVID.

My colleague understood their concerns but then explained that he had marketing and communications skills that would translate well if they could use the help. Because the restaurant was an existing partner to the nonprofit, they agreed to hear him out. After two meetings, the restaurant was impressed by his proposed social media marketing plan and admitted that they could use community engagement to keep the doors open, encouraging patrons to physically frequent the restaurant per COVID regulations and via take-out. He landed a contract with the restaurant and subsequently created a successful fundraiser for his nonprofit.

So what happened here?

The collaboration between the restaurant and the nonprofit was a win-win

  • Both the company and the nonprofit didn’t have to pay a staff person full-time.
  • The restaurant received marketing help for increased community engagement.
  • He was able to maintain his family’s quality of life.

So what’s unique about this story? I mean, things like this happen all the time. Right? Yes and no. This particular gentleman was entrepreneurial and brave enough to make it happen.

But what if we could change this?

What if leadership from the restaurant and the nonprofit MADE THIS POSSIBLE instead? What if this was a part of their existing partnership? Let’s think bigger, folks. Let’s shed old fears and barriers. We are all in this for the long haul. Step Up. Team Up.

Blue Sky Collaborative is here the help. Ask us how.