How to Choose a Non-Profit Partner

A relationship with a non-profit organization will create successful benefits for both parties involved if the non-profit partner is chosen carefully. There are six different steps to finding the right non-profit for an incredible relationship. Those six steps are as follows: Define, Research, Reach out, Activate, Execute, and Measure.

DEFINE: The first step is to define the relationship and what that entails. Define the type of influence the non-profit has on the community, the type of non-profit that would make sense to work with, and define the ideal goals for acquiring the partnership. The non-profit should have something in common with the organization. Examples would be a restaurant partnering up with a food bank, a department store partnering up charities that donate clothes or Christmas gifts to the less fortunate, a medical office donating blood to a blood drive, etc.

RESEARCH: The relationship between the non-profit and the organization must be beneficial for both. The type of non-profit should be based on the organization; a non-profit that has an emotional or personal connection with the organization. Once the type of non-profit is chosen, research should be conducted on that category of local non-profits. It is important to know the background, the influence the non-profit has on the community, its constituency, the services it provides, the core values, the types of partnerships previously held, the size of the non-profit, etc. The more information gathered, the easier it will be for the organization to find the best match.

There are several things to take into consideration including social media followers to develop insights on the non-profit’s influence, for example, online and print articles written on the non-profit, blogs, the non-profit’s website, and so on. Ultimately, the decision should be based on which non-profit would be the most beneficial for the partnership and the goals the organization is trying to achieve.

REACH OUT: The next step is to reach out to the non-profits. Start with the most desirable non-profit, but have a few more if the first choice does not fall through. The organization needs to tell the non-profit about its ideas for the partnership and the benefits the relationship would provide the non-profit. It is important that both organizations are on the same page, excited about the opportunity and willing to contribute so that both the organization and the non-profit understands the potential of the relationship. It needs to be a win-win for both entities as well as the community.

ACTIVATE: Once the non-profit agrees to the partnership the details need to be developed. Communication is crucial at this stage so that ideas, creativity, strategies, and visions are explored from both sides. Whether the partnership is for one event or several, short term or long term, there must be an understanding of what the relationship entails while contributing full commitment.

EXECUTE: Once the plan is completed, all that hard work is ready to execute. Depending on what the organization reached out to the non-profit for, this could be a campaign, an event, a ceremony, etc. Both the organization and the non-profit will put the plan into action and follow through until the end of the partnership.

MEASURE: Activities and results should be tracked throughout the partnership and execution of the plan. The organization should be tracking the success and failures the partnership has created for the event, campaign, or project. This ensures data for future reference as well as determining how successful the partnership was for both the organization and the non-profit. Notes should also be taken to understand the strengths and weaknesses and how the partnership could have been fixed to ensure better results. With this data, the organization will have insight in this particular non-profit and whether or not it would be beneficial to continue working with the non-profit in the future.

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