Partnerships Between Non-profits and Companies: The Symbiotic Relationship

November 1, 2012sparxoo_admin

When enhancing a business, it can all boil down to quantity and quality. The right blend is important. And when considering the fruitfulness of company/non-profit partnerships, we find applications in a number of ways… social good fulfills company quality, and propels the quantity of exposures through the roof. The partnership is a symbiotic relationship: overwhelmingly beneficial to both parties. The only related cost would be the opportunity cost incurred when limiting your company’s spread, effect, persona, and success by existing in a charity-negligent vacuum.

Identifying with a non-profit exponentially enhances the quality of your brand. Your company suddenly becomes philanthropic- and there’s nothing better than an extra heartstring to keep people coming in and coming back. People on the outside will identify your brand with having substance- there is no way your company will ever be mistaken for just a pretty face- its personality is apparent. While loyal customers already had an emotional attachment to your company’s brand pizzazz, now your brand has relevancy to everyone. Whether initially patrons or not, all people need to hear is that you partner with a non-profit, and they know what your company is about- boom they are hooked (or at least advocates)!

Case-in-point number 1: You are interviewing a new job candidate… they both have unbelievable resumes and ace the interview… but, all else equal, one candidate has volunteered at the local soup kitchen twice a week for five years; the other has not. Decision made? I think so. We are human beings… regardless of the environment, that attachment and sentiment is important—dedication to a cause says so much about a person. It is a loaded-with-positive-vibes commitment that will work the same for a company- automatically making the business seem personable and sincere (and accurately so).

Partnering with a charity or good cause will only add to your company’s lovable personality by giving it a conscience. Certainly a solid brand can you’re your service… but a non-profit partnership is the infinitely rewarding choice. It will spread the goodwill for your company. And that whole “word-of-mouth” thing? A partnership proliferates it—you never know who you will attract by adding the extra charitable component to your brand’s persona.

Not only is this plan conducive to kindling the feelings that grow to be associated with your company, a charitable partnership also builds identity within. Your employees will have an underlying feeling that they do “good” work, which in turn fuses them together into a team made of (even more) heart. By the same token, it allows for variety of interactions- from conversation to experience to creativity- all of which enhance the company core even farther.

Now… in the non-profit’s environment, your company is gaining double the exposure! When a non-profit has an event or thanks its partners (attracting people who are extra-primed to love your company by extension), your company is showcased as part of it! From being in their program, to on the billboard and t-shirts; on the plaque at their front desk, or being announced- everything will disseminate awareness of your company, in the appealing context of how good it is. And as aforementioned, this exposure is to people who will love your company because you have something in common- a charitable dedication.

Case-in-point number two… we’ve all seen that motivational speaker who came back to talk to the underprivileged kids because he came through the same struggles? Why does he want to help those kids in particular? Because they share an emotional connection. If your company is supporting the American Heart Association, and 3,500 people come to a community event, each with their own personal reason for supporting the charity… they will feel that, by supporting your company, they are supporting their charity. Again… it’s personal. It’s the appeal. A built-in human relations strategy- and so much more.

A partnership is such a trivial price to pay for how much it will positively underscore your business, meanwhile doubling the charitable efforts. In fact, when the net cost is considered, compared to the new business that the partnership will attract, there is likely only profit to be reaped- and that is in the form of deeply-resonating, emotionally-solidified, infinitely perpetual benefit. With your company’s partnership, the charity can achieve two-fold what they could have alone: the company’s dedication enhances cause awareness and expands the task force that is working toward achieving the goal. The lucrative concept of company/non-profit partnering is symbiotic: there is no going wrong for either party.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong! It is right your fingertips. It’s an undertaking- a long-term venture… but a bounty of possibilities. Humana has partnered with non-profit KaBoom! to help them launch their business for multigenerational (“grown-up”) playgrounds, which have been endorsed by physical and social scientists alike as a successful business venture that promotes physical and mental health. In just one year, they have built 11 of these jungle-gyms, as Humana helps them fuel their mission while gaining enhanced customer sentiment as a socially good company. Carpe Diem Sports Academy is another non-profit company. Their mission- help kids gain educational, mental, and physical training via seminars- is only made so empowering by their spectrum of partners. Surely seeing those partner companies’ names (including YogAthletica, Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood, and Sports Dreammakers) on the Carpe Diem website evokes at least an Internet scan, if not a trial of the company’s (philanthropic, socially good) business.

This partnership can be taken to any capacity- whether portions of sales go toward the cause during certain months, the company sends employee volunteers, donates merchandise, provides funding or training, launches a community initiative, or sells “all-profits-go-to…” cookies every day. Furthermore, partnering relevantly can really target success… a grocer partnering with a charity to stop childhood hunger, the maternity store partnering with the non-profit for beaten and battered pregnant woman, or the health company partnering with a non-profit that fights obesity. When you think about partnerships like that, it seems undeniable- like the company and relevant non-profit were made to uplift each other. Once launched, it’s an endless cycle.