10 Strategic Ways Nonprofits Can Influence Giving From Major Corporations

When a large corporation gives a donation, the receiving nonprofit organization is not the only party benefiting from this exchange. In fact, corporations that actively give back to initiatives that align with the values of the business demonstrate to their employees and customers alike what causes are important to the leaders.

As nonprofits seek out donations, leveraging these kinds of win-win opportunities can be an effective way to further the social goals of the nonprofit and potential donors. Below, a panel of experts from Forbes Nonprofit Council each share one additional strategy nonprofit leaders can leverage to influence major corporations to support community-serving efforts.

1. Build A Relationship

Form a relationship where values are aligned. Building a relationship starts with taking the time to listen and learn from one another, which leads to an assessment of each organization’s values to ensure alignment. Finding mutually beneficial “wins,” then, comes from this relationship building and listening. – Jono Anzalone, The Climate Initiative

2. Determine How You Can Aid The Corporation

What works for us is to never “sell” our work. We try to engage corporations in different ways so they can experience first-hand the actual impact we are making in the world. Developing a relationship is important beyond a donation, so we are always asking ourselves how we can be of help to the corporations as well. – Pablo Listingart, ComIT


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3. Deeply Understand Your Potential Partner

Engaging major corporations requires time. You must dive into the company’s business models as well as the pressures facing their industry. Seek corporations with like-minded leaders, understand their business goals and design partnerships to meet the strategic objectives for both institutions. Establish clear expectations and regular touchpoints for transparent communication. – Kyle Zimmer, First Book

4. Show The Impact

Illustrate how their gifts will make a difference through videos, imagery and stories of those who benefit from their generous support. Point to research that demonstrates the impact giving will have on increasing employee satisfaction and retention. Remind them that customers want to purchase from socially minded companies and giving will positively impact their bottom line. – Kristen Jaarda, American Council on Gift Annuities

5. Combine Giving Goals With Donor Recognition

When talking to potential corporate partners, we lean in on two key concepts: that research shows giving back is good for business and that employees want to align with an organization that cares about causes. Finding the connectivity to the cause and the giving goals of the corporation is the essential next step while showing evidence of good donor stewardship and recognition. – Rita Soronen, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

6. Showcase Your Interest In Creating Mutual Wins

Where a great cause and marketplace meet is a sweet spot for corporations. Share the scope, brand equity and proven growth (or potential) with corporate sponsors. Provide deliverables, promotions and recognition for their corporate support. Demonstrate through sponsorship offerings that you are interested in creating win-win proposals that assist their marketing and philanthropic goals. – Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation

7. Help Them Achieve Their Desired Social Impact Goals

Corporations, like individuals, have values and intentions. So, nonprofits must seek authentic partnerships that allow corporations to achieve their desire for social impact that is aligned with their brands and intention. It’s time to quit overindexing on sponsorship benefits like logo size, placement and channels. Instead, lean in to understanding their ambition for affecting positive change. – Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHP, Accordant

8. Demonstrate The ROI

Show how your program provides a return on investment or social return on investment in the communities they serve and where their workforce resides. Pay great attention to how the organization plans to grow. It’s a great opportunity to show how your work impacts their bottom line and corporate culture! – Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island

9. Leverage Current Investments

A nonprofit needs to successfully demonstrate how a gift to their organization further strengthens the current priorities and giving of a corporation. It is far easier to convince a donor that your nonprofit can help further their philanthropic work than it is to convince a potential donor that your cause is worth adding to their existing portfolio of priorities. – Patrick Riccards, Driving Force Institute

10. Elevate Your Organization’s Presence

Big corporations are often solicited to sponsor an event or support a campaign, but what you want is for them to come knocking on your door, eager to support your mission. The best way to do that is to elevate your organization’s presence. Show and tell your story to draw an audience to your cause. – Kimberly Lewis, Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2022/05/24/10-strategic-ways-nonprofits-can-influence-giving-from-major-corporations/

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