9 Homework Assignments Before Meetings

May 23, 2016       The NonProfit Times      

By now, many corporate entities are familiar with the concept of cause marketing partnerships, the joining of a for-profit and a nonprofit to support a cause in such a way as to benefit both.

Generally, companies don’t mind being approached about such a venture, but they very much do not like being approached by people who don’t know anything about them, and have not bothered to try to learn.

During the 2015 Cause Marketing Forum, Mollye Rhea of For Momentum and Chad Royal-Pascoe of Boys & Girls Clubs of America said the top pet peeve of corporate decision makers when approached by a nonprofit is the failure of the organization’s representatives to do their homework.

Doing your homework, they said, means doing research ahead of time to learn:

* On the company’s Website, news releases, advertising, “About” link. Google News or Google Alerts.

* On the people with whom a meeting is held, volunteer and staff input, LinkedIn or social media, professional information and personal information.

* Past activities with the organization, including individual staff and volunteers.

* Past activities with other organizations.

* What target market, demographic or market segment are they trying to reach?

* What are their key messages to consumers?

* What are their main objectives/goals for the brand?

* What are their past cause activities? Activations?

* What are their practices for engaging employees?