Matching nonprofit and for-profit missions

The most common element of a successful corporate philanthropy partnership — cited by 77 percent of firms in a survey — was that an organization’s mission is aligned with the company’s philanthropic focus.

Xiaonan (Coco) Kou presented the findings during a session titled, “Giving Beyond Borders: A Study of Global Giving by U.S. Corporations” during a symposium at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

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.