Top 5 Corporate Partnership Fundamentals That Will Help You Reach 2020 Goals
Can you believe we are less than 6 months away from 2020?! We’ve all had big 2020 goals – things we were going to accomplish by 2020, trips we were going to take, languages we were going to learn, hobbies we were going to adopt. Personally, I’m a little disappointed in myself that I’m not fluent in Spanish, visited the Pyramids yet or know how to make killer dolmas. Alas…at least I have a few more months, right?
In the workplace, we also have major revenue and partnership milestones for 2020.
With just a few months to go, if you’re like the rest of us – this is crunch time! Feeling this pressure and knowing that we love to challenge the status quo at Accelerist, many nonprofit organizations ask us how to get innovative, disruptive, and think out-of-the-box to meet those daunting 2020 goals. Well, this may shock you coming from us, but we’re here to tell you – now is NOT the time to mix it up. Right now – we all need to go back to the basics.
“Excellence is achieved by the mastery of the fundamentals.” – Vince Lombardi
Whether you are trying to build a new corporate partnership program, or have a substantial portfolio you’re looking to maintain and grow, these are the top five fundamentals every team should master. Yes, we mean master. These aren’t good tactics to adopt inconsistently, or check one or two off your list and call it a day. Corporate partnership teams must live and breathe these fundamentals. They must all be trained on them, have the tools to execute all of them properly and be held accountable for delivering on the basics every.single.day.
Before you dismiss the fundamentals as something you already know, take a look at how even the basics are evolving as we head into 2020.
- Do Your Homework
Nonprofits need to do the research and legwork before meeting with a potential corporate partner. What is the corporation currently doing and where can we align?
– Rochelle Karr, Director of CSR and Alumni Relations, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Fundamentally, a fundraiser should never pick up the phone, send an email or attend a meeting with a corporate prospect without having knowledge of that company, what issues they stand for, and which nonprofit organizations they are already partnered with. This takes a lot of time and resources, but committing to it can also save you a lot of time in qualifying prospects and then securing the second and third meeting to seal a deal. Good resources for this kind of information include Bloomberg, LinkedIn, the Company’s website, Hoovers and Glassdoor.
Accelerating into 2020, “doing your homework” gets a bit more sophisticated. With exabytes (yep, it’s a thing…larger than a terabyte and gigabyte) of information available to all of us, corporate executives are expecting nonprofits to know significantly more detail about their business, social impact commitments and most coveted people – their consumers and employees.
If you need a research tool to bring you up to speed in 2020, check out a sample profile from the Accelerist Corporate Research Database, and request a full demo – it has everything you need in one place for 1000s of companies!
- Know Your Audience
As corporate citizens, we want to strengthen our relationship with our employees and customers, and better serve all of their needs.
– Christopher Gavigan, Chief Purpose Officer, The Honest Company
Fundamentally, one of the biggest reasons companies want to align with nonprofit organizations – next in line after mission – is to create authentic connections through the name of ‘purpose’ with their (and your) people. For decades, this is why brands like Yoplait (whose primary consumer is women) would align with a breast cancer research organization like the Susan G. Komen Foundation. However, as consumers, we are no longer defined by top-line demographics like age and gender. We all have distinct preferences and lifestyle differences that influence our purchasing decisions, daily routines, and philanthropic engagement.
Accelerating into 2020, companies will want to know more about nonprofit audiences. They will want to know if nonprofit constituencies purchase their products, shop at their stores, are book readers or bike riders, love photography or wine, or are influenced by bloggers, celebrities, YouTube stars, media personalities, etc. Companies will want to know what motivates your constituents to take action, get involved, use their voice for good. They want to know if their consumers and employees care about your cause, or have heard of your brand. Companies want to know your audience inside and out – to make sure it is 1 of 2 things: 1) Their existing audience – to build a deeper relationship with loyal customers and employees, or 2) A prospective audience – to build new relationships by leveraging their commitment to your cause.
So, it’s time to get intimate with your constituents. They will help you raise more money from corporate partners in 2020. Work with your marketing teams to obtain more and deeper info on your people. Package primary personas of who they are, train your partnership team on it, and include it in your pitch to companies. We can’t tell you the amount of Accelerist members that have used this tactic to win over new corporate partners, or expand relationships with their existing partners. You can read more about how Accelerist’s constituent data helped our friends at Big Brothers Big Sisters secure partners like Nordstrom Rack and the NFL!
Fundamentals are so important, that we are going to keep talking about them over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to the Accelerist blog and social channels for details on the next three Corporate Partnership Basics you can’t ignore! Here’s a sneak peek…
- Understand Your Value
- Find Shared Value
- Communicate Mission & Impact