A common source of NGO funding is achieved by the engaging private sector support. While endless opportunities exist for partnerships, NGO’s must learn to be strategic in their approach in order to establish stable and meaningful collaborations.
Here are five key considerations when seeking private sector support:
- Look Beyond the Popular Names
While organizations with popular household names might be the first on your list to contact, your NGO isn’t alone with that idea. Because of the popularity of these organizations, they are usually overwhelmed with requests. Try looking beyond the obvious names, this requires some research and might take more time and effort but will be worth it.
- Target Businesses That Align With Your NGO
If there isn’t appropriate alignment between corporate vision, mission and strategies and NGO’s social purpose there can be consequences. Never underestimate the effect of misaligned companies, they can result in unstable and short relationships and can even affect your NGOs reputation; consider a tobacco company partnering with an NGO focused on heart health, that’s contradictory.
Therefore, conduct a risk assessment and target businesses that share in your nonprofit’s vision, mission and passion in addressing your key social issues. These alliances share a better connection for moving forward.
- Develop win-win proposals
Granted the current economic environment, the selling pitch of ‘goodwill’ may not be enough to secure support. Corporations usually enter into partnerships to enhance their brand, build their corporate reputation, improve credibility, and increase tangible business value to boost sales and profits.
In order for partnerships to be sustainable, both partners need to perceive benefits for their individual organizations. Make it difficult for corporate partners to say no to your request by providing a win-win proposal.
- Look beyond finance
Partnerships can yield more than just financial funding — companies can provide goods in-kind, access to their facilities as well as share their time and expertise to help further an NGO’s social mission.
Consider what skills corporate employees have and how they can benefit your NGO. Corporate staff can volunteer their core skills; accounting or IT skills or they can volunteer their non-core skills such as helping to build play parks and distribute warm meals.
- Work Together
Both organizations must work together to develop a strong relationship with sustainable outcomes while maintaining a balance of power. If both parties can co-develop and co-manage partnership activities, it is likely to foster a long-term connection as corporate organizations are now more invested in seeing NGO programs capitalize on every opportunity to succeed.
This type of collaboration can provide tangible or intangible business value for the company, fulfill the NGO’s social purpose and achieve shared goals.
What tips does your NGO have for collaborating with the public sector? We would love to get your feedback in the comment section below.