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Pallavi Sathiskumar | February 12th, 2018
Finding the right match between a corporation and a non-profit is much like searching for the perfect partner. Just as there are millions of potential dates, there are millions of unique non-profits for a corporation to partner with. As a company, when choosing a non-profit, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- For better or for worse
Do you share the same goal of a long term relationship or are you seeking a short term approach that has a single outcome? Long term relationships can be more rewarding. You may want to consider working with an organization that can grow with you and vice versa.
- Future plans and compatibility
Are you compatible? Is there a deeper connection? And do you share the same vision? If your company wants to save lives, maybe planting a tree isn’t the best idea. You will want to partner with an organization that shares your values. For instance, a non-profit that helps patients with long term illnesses would be a good fit for a company that saves lives.
It’s not always about the money. Ask yourself, how much time and commitment are you willing to invest in this relationship because that will determine the course. A healthy relationship risks crumbling if one or both participants are lacking the investment of time. As a corporation, you want to focus on non-profits that understand the value of your time and effort, and are not just focused on money.
- Reason over convenience
In dating, you might miss out on an interesting person sitting next to you because you decided to pursue someone on a dating app instead. After all, dating apps can seem easier. When picking a non-profit to work with, don’t just choose a non-profit relationship that is easy to come across. Do your due diligence, find out what they stand for and the causes they believe in.
- Impact over popularity
Sometimes the quietest people have the loudest minds. When you take the time to speak with them, you gain insight and can learn that they may be just right for you. Research a variety of non-profits not just ones that are popular or well established. Many organizations already support the well established non-profits. Some nonprofits are the best kept secrets!
- Common ground – be who you want to find
Opposites do attract, but unless you have something in common – it becomes difficult to maintain a relationship. Think of it this way, if you are a software company, you maybe of greater help providing eBooks and laptops to a school rather than constructing a building for the school. If you want to work with a non-profit organization that is ethical and possesses high reporting standards, ensure your company is practicing this standard, because hypocrisy can put a strain on a relationship. You want to ensure that you have common ground.
- Build a relationship, don’t just sign a contract
Before popping the question it’s always beneficial to ask if your relationship is built on intimacy and trust or simply survival and ease before moving forward. Money is definitely a key factor in supporting non-profits. You could just sign the cheque and leave it at that, or your company could take the next step and ensure your employees and customers are engaged in a thoughtful way.
And most importantly:
- Be open
Be open to new ideas, new culture and new languages – embrace the diversity. You may find that there is a non-profit that you really connect with that you had not considered before. With a little research your company could learn a lot from non-profits – you never know what’s in store for you!
Pallavi Sathiskumar is a Sustainable Business Management student with a background in Economics Honors. She is passionate about community development and through personal experience she understands the major role that corporations can have in bringing about societal change. Her work with various non-profits has given her an in-depth understanding of social problems and effective ways of partnering with both the government and private corporations.