Like any other investment, forming a partnership with a non-profit should be a well thought out, informed decision.
- Be sure your values align. If partnered effectively, people will think of the non-profit or the good you do with them when they think of your business. It is important that you complement each other. Take some time to volunteer before investing financially to ensure that their culture backs up their values.
- Assess their marketing efforts. This may seem a little too brash but beyond the euphoria the comes with supporting a non-profit, a business probably needs to consider ROI. If the organization promises to post a link on their website and to a social media post as part of their sponsor level, check out their website and social media pages to see if they’ve upheld the promises for previous partners. Of course, a new organization with less longevity may not have previous sponsors and partners but you can still asses as to whether they have a clean website and active social media. There are several ways an organization might uphold their partnership but get to know their marketing volunteers or staff! Learning about how the sponsor levels will be upheld is integral to understanding execution and ensuring follow through.
- Consider their demographic and compare it to yours. The two should coincide. There are ways to get creative with the demographic appeal. For example, if you a sponsor a Girl Scout Club, your business might assess the club members parents’ demographic. Where do they reside? What might their purchasing behaviors be?
- Volunteer first. Experiencing their mission can strengthen your understanding of the organization. You will be able to visit with other volunteers and build relationships with the organization's team.