The importance of partnerships

partnershipsYou’ve heard the old adage rising tides float all boats? The core concept of this still rings true - working together to advance your cause benefits all involved. It’s why political candidates that run with a party generally do better than those that run with as independents and it’s why parties work hard to recruit star candidates - the association with the party or the name recognition of the star candidate means leveraging each other’s networks in addition to one’s own. This helps increase donations, build credibility and boost campaign awareness. Nonprofits can apply this concept to their work through partnerships.

Partnerships can come in all shapes and sizes, but I’ll just highlight two basic examples here to keep it simple: revenue partnerships and strategic partnerships.

A revenue-based partnership could be about saving money or raising money by teaming up with another nonprofit that who has a similar mission or fundraising goal, working to unite your supporters around a common cause or goal. One way to partner around the goal of saving money is by pooling resources. Pooling resources stretches your limited resources further during a campaign. For example, you can share office space and staffers, or marketing budgets and platforms to capitalize on the opportunity to share your messaging and ask further than your own community. Another example of a revenue based partnership is teaming up with an organization or individual who agrees to match a certain number of your donations, doubling the amount you raise in return for public recognition.

Partnerships can also be more strategic than revenue focused. One partnership that can be particularly effective for both organizations is providing dual membership. As part of your fundraising drive, for a limited time, you could offer memberships with your partner organization when your supporter purchases annual membership with your organization.  Not only do your members get more benefits, but both you and your partner receive equal funding and new supporters. Maybe you team up with an established business to tap their experience or in-kind support like office space in exchange for a shoutout in your newsletter. Partnering with a well recognized brand can also add credibility to your organization and amplify your #GivingTuesday campaign.

From brand exposure to knowledge sharing, pooling resources to adding credibility, partnering with other organizations adds value. Regardless of who you partner with, partnerships can help unlock access to an entirely new community of prospective supporters through your partner's network. Whether you're a smaller nonprofit just starting out or an established charity well-known across the country - you can benefit from partnerships.

 

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