Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Making the Most of Corporate Support

There’s been a lot of talk on this blog about working with corporates lately, and you may remember back when I started life as a one-(wo)man shop, I was finding my way with this area of fundraising.

But what do you do when you finally land that allusive corporate partnership, especially when you’re a small team with limited resource.

Here’s my three step guide to making the most of a corporate deal.

Lay it all out from the start

Both Hannah and I talked about the importance of getting the agreement in writing at the beginning. Top tip indeed. Meet your partner and talk through every step of the process. You’ll be setting yourself up for a much easier time.

Piggyback on their efforts

It’s more than likely that your partner will be looking for PR and press from this donation.

Your organisation will also benefit from (the right kind of) press exposure, so use this to your advantage. If you’re a big organisation you may have your own press team, but if you’re small, piggyback on their efforts. Make links with their press team; offer to provide photo-call opportunities, write about the impact their gift will make to your work for press releases, offer interviews with the people their support is benefitting. They’ll be delighted, and you’ll get great coverage for your cause.

Also do not underestimate the power of other organisations seeing the PR that comes from working with you. It’s so difficult to get going from a standing start, so once you’ve got your first partner, make sure other companies start desiring the kind of press you can offer them. Think about the big charity partnerships – you see the joint brand everywhere. This benefits both the company and the charity. Learn from the big guys and get your name out there.

Document everything

Get coverage of the partnership in the paper- keep it. Online story – print it out. Lovely copies of literature with your partner’s logo all over it – make sure you put them safely away.

At the end of the partnership you'll want to present a report to your organisation highlighting just how much value they have gained from this project. Yes, you want to tell them what a difference their gift has made, but a standard stewardship support will rarely cut it.

How many people saw their brand? How did this improve their profile as a philanthropic organisation? What great stories did this generate in the media?

By providing detailed and relevant feedback about the benefits of working with you, you’re paving the way for a longer term partnership with this company.

Of course the added benefit of this information is that you now have in your possession a fantastic live Case Study for your next corporate sponsors. Now you can show, with evidence, the benefits of working with your charity or organisation. The good news is, raising money from corporates just got that bit easier.

PS. Just one last thing - don't be afraid to 'put your price' up once you've got this evidence. You're in demand now.. don't you know.


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