Any new venture, such as a cause related marketing partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit, could be a learning process for everyone. The hope all around is that everyone will benefit in some way and that once it is over all the involved parties will go away with warm, fuzzy feelings and happy memories (oh yeah, and money).
In trying to get such a relationship started, it is possible for a nonprofit organization to make mistakes when initiating contact with a business. It is possible, but not good because, even if forgiving is divine, it is not often found in the DNA of those out to make money.
During the 2015 Cause Marketing Forum, Mollye Rhea of For Momentum and Chad Royal-Pascoe of Boys & Girls Clubs of America offered insights to nonprofit fundraisers about what for-profit decision makers do not want to see in an application or initial contact.
The biggest mistakes nonprofits make when approaching for-profits about a commercial co-venture:
* “Not doing their homework” (This was the pet peeve);
* “Not knowing what our giving focus is;”
* “Not understanding what my company needs from a partnership”;
* “Not understanding who we are and what we need to accomplish”; and,
* “Not looking at our website in advance to see what we fund.”