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Establishing Rewarding Fundraising Partnerships

By The NonProfit Times - March 14, 2011

Note: This is a summary of an older NPTtv story about Fundraising Partnerships.

Corporate donors can be very beneficial when it comes to the financial health of nonprofit organizations, but they can represent a significant liability as well if the partnership between the nonprofit and the business is structured incorrectly. According to Adam Kerins, corporate and foundation relations director for the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside New Jersey, it is vital that a nonprofit organization do its prospect research and other associated homework to avoid striking up relationships with businesses that are counterproductive. This research is important as it relates to identifying and quantifying a gift in terms of the donor’s capacity. This information that comes out of this research is also useful in knowing the appropriate stage of the partnership at which to establish an ask price-point.
What role does geography play?

According to Kerins, when it comes to corporate partnerships, business are more inclined to support charitable causes that are involved in positive work in the areas where there employees live and work. Businesses are often interested in that aspect when being approached by nonprofits with regard to a fundraising initiative. Corporations generally want to know that the charitable gift they are making with result in mutually rewarding benefits between themselves and the relevant nonprofit.
Kerins goes on to state that multi-year partnerships are typically more desirable as it means that the corporation or foundation has a greater period of time in which to develop an awareness of the nonprofit’s needs, as well as to establish bonds of trust and communication that contribute towards a fulfilling and rewarding partnership arrangement. A nonprofit that has a good understanding of what the corporation wants out of the relationship is in a better position to benefit from repeated and enthusiastic funding. It’s also good to identify an internal champion in the organization who is passionate about the charitable efforts that the nonprofit is engaged in.

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