Companies and nonprofits share one common goal – impact. From there, the road divides. Companies have other demographics they serve, especially if they’re publicly owned.
The impact goal is a powerful one that has the potential to bring both sectors together. It can help incorporate marketing in generating more sales while also bringing needed and added revenue to charities.
How Does that Happen?
Let’s consider the example of a national retailer of kids’ clothing and toys. The retailer has a goal to accelerate web traffic and increase online sales. The national nonprofit helps troubled and disadvantaged kids by partnering them with trained adult volunteer mentors in large cities across the country. The problem is they have a lot more volunteers than they can place and train and need more funds to expand its mentorship program
What might a successful partnership look like? The retailer would donate a portion of each sale to the nonprofit. In addition, it would allow interested employees to spend up to four hours a week on company time volunteering with the nonprofit’s chapter in the city where they work. It would also promote the alliance in its marketing and feature success stories in its publications.
In exchange, the nonprofit would acknowledge the retailer throughout its national network. They would not only recommend that its volunteers and supporters patronize the retailer, but also ask them to spread the word among friends, families and business associates. What also helped was the nonprofit saw the advantage of reminding its subscribers to consider patronizing its retail partner on special occasions like birthdays and the holiday season.
The Benefits of Partnered Marketing
In addition to experiencing an increase in revenue to expand its mentorship program, the nonprofit also gained more volunteers from the company with whom it partnered. The company’s marketing efforts also generated more volunteers and donations.
For the retailer, it saw a steady increase in sales. In addition, employee morale and loyalty spiked while turnover decreased. After the first year of the partnership, the company was also honored by the nonprofit at its national annual event and the resulting media publicity boosted the corporate reputation. This made HR’s job of finding qualified candidates easier because skilled younger workers wanted to work there. The value of the publicity received by the company was immeasurable, not to mention the savings in advertising.
What are the Next Steps in Partnership Marketing
If you’re considering such a partnership, think about your line of services or products. What services by nonprofits align with them and which nonprofits are they?
Assemble your team and lay out the possibilities. Draft a marketing plan that outlines the benefits that a nonprofit partner would derive.
Go through your own records and determine, if you can, whether any of your employees serve with or are affiliated with any of the nonprofits you identified. If you identify any employees, they’re the ones who can help open a door for you.
In the absence of any nonprofit connections, take and prioritize the list you drew up. The next step is to introduce your company to each one in the order you determined and share the draft of the marketing plan your team drew up. It should be a no-brainer for the nonprofit.
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