Business leaders have learned that being good to the nonprofit sector and those it serves can be good for the bottom line. Some nonprofit leaders have learned the same thing.
What managers in the philanthropic sector must also know, however, is that going to business leaders with a hand held out or a picture of a poor child are not in themselves going to have the for-profit community falling all over itself to perform good works.
At the Social Capital 2010 Conference in Washington, D.C., recently, Jay Aldous of Social Capital, John Egan of Coca-Cola North America, Bryan McCleary of Procter & Gamble and Nathan Shore of Macy’s offered insights into how changes in business are affecting strategic partnerships.
The advice boiled down to three main pieces of advice. They are:
- Lead with your issues. Companies are seeking to align with issues, and an organization’s issues are probably its most valuable assets. An organization needs to be selling impact, not need or worthiness.
- Be aware of the importance and power of advocates. This means knowing who advocates are: consumers, employees and participants. An “impact accelerator” is critical for sustainability, execution and resource generation.
- Remember relevance and trust. Organizations must stand for something. More than for or against, “join” with us. Target audiences, and know that target messages are required.