How to Partner With Local Non-Profits and Give Back to the Community

2022-06-30T14:00:46-05:00August 13, 2020|Opinion, Resources|

Whether you’re funding the development of products or utilizing content marketing to spread the word, a substantial amount of money goes into making your business a success. In the modern world, this frequently isn’t enough. Consumers want to know what you stand for, and, at times, this means putting your money where your mouth is.

One effective way to accomplish this is by partnering with local non-profits to give back to your community. These local groups benefit your area in many ways. By facilitating relationships with them, you can improve your community while standing out as a local leader. The following blueprint will help you pull this off.

Finding the right non-profit

The first step in partnering with a local non-profit is finding the right organization. You may already have a few in mind, due to a long-running admiration of certain groups. If you don’t, options are discovered easily with the GuideStar Non-Profit Directory. You’ll also get a few great options by typing “local non-profits” into Google.

It’s okay to choose a group based solely on your commitment to a cause. In many situations, it’s beneficial to find an organization that somehow relates to your business. Are you a home contractor? Then wouldn’t a local group that builds houses for the poor be ideal? Do you sell premium pet food? Then local animal shelters are probably the key!

Partnering with any organization will benefit your community, but finding one related to your business gives more options on how to help.

Identify and form relationships 

Before any partnership can accomplish great things, you must first form relationships with the organization you have in mind. The best way to do this is by starting with your employees. Ask around and find out if anyone you employ already has a connection with a local non-profit.

It’s one of the reasons why choosing a group related to your business is ideal. One-third of Americans say they don’t volunteer through their employer because they’re unable to choose the causes important to them. Workers likely have some interest in your industry, so choosing a related group will increase the chance of pre-existing relationships.

You can also use the following strategies to form partnerships with local non-profits:

  • Check the website: Organizational websites typically list leadership structures, and this makes it easy to find exactly who you should talk to. 
  • Send an email: Sending an email or submitting a question through an online contact form is often the easiest way to get in touch. 
  • Pick up the phone: Calling a non-profit directly showcases your desire to build a partnership, but don’t be offended if you’re asked to leave a message. 
  • Visit the office: You’ll eventually meet with leaders when forming local non-profit partnerships, so why not schedule a visit from the start? 

If you’re unsure who to contact using these methods, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Employees and volunteers of these groups focus on helping the community, which means they’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction. After all, the organization is going to benefit from the partnership just as much as your business.

Setting appropriate goals

Increasing sales with new technology, improving online traffic through content marketing and making your community better with local non-profit partnerships all have one thing in common: you must set appropriate goals. “I want to build houses for the homeless” and “I want to help local children” are both great goals, but you need to really flesh them out.

One of the best ways to achieve this with brand social activism is through Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely, or SMART goals.

Consider this goal: “I want to build three houses before the end of the year to help local families.” It’s specific because the goal is specifically stated to be three houses, and when the task is complete, you can easily measure whether it was successful. 

The timely factor is met because a specific deadline has been set, and as long as a company has the necessary equipment and labor force, it’s both achievable and realistic. It’s possible that you may have no specific goals in mind when partnering with a local non-profit, but even something as simple as “we’ll devote five weekly hours” can meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. 

How to give when partnering with non-profits

There are a variety of ways your company can give once you’ve established a partnership with a local non-profit. Co-hosting events, sponsoring fundraisers or simply making a monetary donation can all go a long way. If you’re hoping to really do some good while also spreading the word about your partnership, though, consider the following: 

Offer your goods and services

This is another reason choosing a non-profit related to your business is ideal. If the two organizations are similar, they could likely utilize your goods or services. Provide these at a free or discounted rate. 

Donate a percentage of profits

Choose a specific product or service and commit to donating profits from their sale to the cause. It’s okay to set a timetable for this (i.e. “50% of all sales TODAY go to our local homeless shelter!”). You can also promote this event in order to bring in new clients and showcase your brand activism

Utilize content marketing

Advertising an event where you’re raising money for a cause is great. Go the extra mile and really push the partnership in your content marketing. Whether you’re live streaming the event or simply announcing your new relationship in an email blast, either will go a long way in building brand loyalty.

Pledge volunteer hours

A 2018 report showed that American volunteerism had hit a new record — achieving a value of $167 billion in one year. People simply love to give their time, and that’s exactly what your local non-profit partners need. Pledge a certain number of hours and ask your employees to help out. Offering incentives to workers will go a long way. 

Don’t flake

Whatever you promise to do with your new non-profit partnership, you must follow through. Failing to do so will make you look opportunistic rather than committed, and could destroy your working relationship. Even worse, you could affect the group’s ability to achieve greatness.

Stand up and fight for a better community

Partnering with local non-profits is an easy way to give back to your community while gaining goodwill from potential clients. It turns a dedication to values into a win-win situation for your company. Using content marketing to get the word out will spread your message even further. In the end, the positive effects on your community will trickle down directly to you.

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