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Creating Mutually Beneficial Relationships: Ten Tips for Nonprofits

Creating Mutually Beneficial Relationships: Ten Tips for Nonprofits

Posted on January 19, 2022
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When businesses and nonprofits partner together for a cause, effective change happens. Sometimes nonprofit managers overlook connecting with companies, yet it is probably the most vital connection to make.

When nonprofits connect with businesses, nonprofit managers gain a patron for their organization. In turn, enterprises gain a positive reputation and standing in the community with message-driven marketing campaigns and through philanthropy.

This article explores proven ways for nonprofits to connect and establish successful, mutually beneficial relationships.

  1. Match the Business and Nonprofit

Consider this finding the intersection between organizations. Questions to ask include:

  • What are both entities’ interests and missions?
  • What value will you bring to each other? Are you a good fit?

This step also includes determining the provable impact you will have by working together. Are you looking to deliver valuable programming or expand your reach?

When you meet with a business, be ready to present the distinctiveness, value, and advantages your organization brings to the relationship.

  1. Be Genuine and Purposeful

Mutually beneficial relationships start and end with trust. These partnerships need to be genuine, purposeful and authentic as they build equity from the beginning. This is a mindset that should be demonstrated in both language and action.

  1. Enable Honest and Consistent Communication

To have a long-lasting and worthwhile partnership, consistent and honest communication must be at the center of the relationship. We suggest that you identify potential partners with a shared vision yet unique, fresh perspectives. Both organizations need to work together to establish clear short and long-term goals.

  1. Build and Sustain Trust

Take the lead on building trust and know-how to establish, grow, and maintain it. Think about what actions to take to demonstrate your trustworthiness – do you listen intently? Do you include diverse views? Do you seek opinions to understand pain points and find solutions?

  1. Establish the Core Value and Fit

Aligning cultures makes an easy fit for both parties, and collaboration enhances the positive cultures of both organizations, creating new ideas and audiences as you progress.

Since both sides are coming from purposeful positions, the work efforts are coordinated and offer a seamless experience for all involved.

  1. Clarify Expectations

Continual conversations about expectations, engagement and the overall working relationship ensure a long-lasting relationship. Follow up with regular meetings – every relationship requires continuous communication.

  1. Share Strengths

Evaluate your patron ecosystem – what strengths and influences can you share and leverage? Are there partners you can share or marketing channels to leverage? These are zero-cost and win-win tactics.

  1. Always Find a Mutual Win

One of the best ways for nonprofits to build mutually beneficial relationships is to engage other organizations proactively to find a win-win. What does each party give and gain? This goes beyond a prominent logo on marketing materials and a well-placed auction table for ten. Offer your business partner the opportunity to introduce an event speaker or access to a membership.

  1. Make Alliances

Overlapping values are terrific, but is it the only facet that will attract a business partner? To make a partnership happen, find an ally (or several) at the business to promote your cause internally on your organization’s behalf. Companies are inclined to work with nonprofit initiatives when their own employees advocate for them.

  1. Make Your Partner Look Good

Show your partners in a positive light. Nonprofits are a channel for their partners to create impact, something they cannot do in day-to-day business activities. In turn, partner business compensates the nonprofit for the value of this positivity.

The Final Word

What’s important to remember is that communities are more substantial with teamwork and cooperation. Strategic cooperation and authentic collaboration are critical elements for nonprofits on social missions that solve problems. Communities’ nonprofits and businesses serve experience complex challenges – outcomes improve when the community is heard and organizations partner build solutions together.

We hope this article inspires you to look at nonprofit-business relationships in a fresh light. If your nonprofit or business experienced a mutually beneficial relationship or plans to build one in the future, please let us know!

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