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Navigating corporate partnerships as an NFP

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Corporate partnerships can bolster not-for-profit (NFP) organisations, offering a boost in funding, visibility, and credibility.

However, before diving in, it’s crucial to ensure that both parties are on the same page in terms of values and objectives and that the collaboration is mutually beneficial.

Here’s a comprehensive guide for NFPs to consider before jumping into their next corporate partnership:

#1 Do your homework

Before committing to a partnership, conduct thorough due diligence on potential corporate partners to uncover any potential red flags. Understanding the company’s background is crucial in assessing its suitability as a partner. Have there been any past controversies, patterns of financial instability, or negative feedback from your network?

#2 Ensure your values are aligned

Being on the same wavelength is essential for a successful partnership. Beyond surface-level compatibility, delve deeper to ensure your organisation’s values resonate with those of your potential partner.

Assess the alignment of your missions, gauge the compatibility of company representatives, and pay attention to their commitment to corporate social responsibility. 

#3 Set the ground rules upfront

Establish clear metrics for success and delineate expectations and guidelines for the partnership. Define roles and responsibilities to ensure clarity and accountability. It’s important to have a shared understanding of what both parties aim to achieve and how success will be measured.

#4 Think about the long haul

Building a solid foundation from the get-go sets you up for a partnership that stands the test of time. Schedule regular check-ins and feedback sessions to assess progress and address any challenges promptly. Celebrate achievements together and explore opportunities for growth and expansion of the partnership.

#5 Foster effective communication

Communication is key. Keep the lines open and be transparent about challenges. Regular communication ensures that expectations are aligned, issues are addressed promptly, and opportunities for collaboration are maximised. Cultivate a culture of trust and collaboration to strengthen the partnership.

With award-winning expertise and experience, Fifty Acres specialises in working alongside NFPs and community organisations dedicated to effecting positive change. Whether through policy advocacy, raising awareness, or educational initiatives, we’re here to help you make an impact.

Get in touch with us today at fiftyacres.com.au or email info@fiftyacres.com to learn more about how we can support your organisation’s mission. Mention this article to receive a complimentary strategic consultation session and take the first step towards forging impactful partnerships for your NFP.

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With over 20 years’ experience in communications, political advisory roles and journalism, Jo Scard is one of Australia’s foremost strategic advisors to corporates, government and not-for-profits.

Jo is a respected former journalist in the UK and Australia working with ITV, Associated Press, Seven Network, SBS, ABC and Fairfax. She has spent over a decade advising corporates and not-for-profits at CEO and board level across strategic communications, government relations and public relations, and co-authored the best-selling book The working mother’s survival guide.

Fifty Acres was established in 2010. We work with government agencies, national organisations, not-for-profits and corporates providing strategic communications, media training, government, marketing and public relations services. The agency has become a market leader in strategic communications and represents some of Australia’s premier brands and not-for-profits – spending 10% of our time on pro bono projects.

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