What makes a successful partnership in corporate philanthropy, from the company’s perspective? The most common element of a successful partnership — cited by 77 percent of firms in a recent survey — was that an organization’s mission is aligned with the company’s philanthropic focus.
Xiaonan (Coco) Kou presented the findings at a session titled, “Giving Beyond Borders: A Study of Global Giving by U.S. Corporations” during the 26th annual symposium at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, “Taking Fundraising Seriously Timeless Values in a World of Change.”
Other key elements cited by the 53 companies in the survey included:
- Effectiveness and/or efficiency in producing results, 68 percent;
- Geographic operations align with company’s operations, 51 percent;
- Causes are aligned with company’s business goals, 40 percent;
- Accountability, 25 percent;
- Reputation, 17 percent;
- Connections to company’s stakeholders; 9 percent and,
- Size and capacity, 6 percent.
Kou, research project coordinator and doctoral candidate at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, relayed other factors that lead to successful partnerships that were raised during company interviews:
- Stay open to new ideas and possibilities;
- Remain flexible;
- Build trust and honesty; and,
- Adopt a collaborative approach.