Contributions are the lifeblood of a nonprofit or charitable organization. And when it comes to your mission and your ability to drive serious change, every dollar counts. Corporate giving makes up a large portion of yearly charitable contributions across the sector. According to statistics from the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), corporate giving totaled $16.88 billion in 2020, making individuals in the workforce too large a segment to ignore. One of the ways to reach this audience is through corporate partnerships—which can go a long way and yield great financial rewards.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the benefits of corporate sponsorships, share information on the types of partnership models, and provide tips to help you find the right corporate partner for your nonprofit.
Benefits of having a corporate sponsor
- Helps offset the cost of a fundraising event: With a corporate sponsor, your charity can offset the cost of an event. For instance, most corporate partner take on the the cost of the venue, marketing, or ads for your fundraiser.
- Recruit volunteers easily: Many corporations have some form of an employee volunteer program in place. A corporate partnership can help you get new volunteers and help you grow your volunteer programs.
- Increased visibility and brand recognition: Gaining increased visibility is another great benefit of being associating with a corporate partner as companies rigorously network and work hard to build and keep their customers’ trust. If you choose the right corporate partners, that trust will be transferred to your charity as well - especially if you’re a new or smaller player.
Types of corporate partnership models
As you lean into corporate partnerships, you will notice that there are a few different kinds of corporate partnership models:
- Corporate sponsorship for an event: As the name suggest, this usually involves a corporation or business partner sponsoring an event. In return, the charity will usually display the company’s logo on their marketing materials and promote their corporate partner via other marketing collateral. This offsets the cost of organizing the fundraiser and helps build a positive association for the business partner.
- Workplace giving programs: In this model, corporate partners set up a giving program to encourage their employees to either donate directly to the charity or deduct smaller amounts directly from their paycheques for donations. Many corporates also offer donation/gift matching programs through which corporates match the donation amounts of their employees, thus encouraging employees to donate more.
- Employee volunteering programs: Very often, corporate partners set up programs that encourage their employees to volunteer with their partner nonprofit. This could mean employees helping with an upcoming event or engaging in skills-based volunteerism such as helping the charity market an event, set up their pages or help with IT, etc.
- Media and marketing partnerships: In this partnership model, the corporate partners bear the cost of promoting the event. This could be through radio promotions, TV ads, printed ads, or social media ad spending. In another variation of this model, the nonprofit and its corporate partner agree upon a mutually beneficial marketing strategy. For the charity, this can simply convert into more donors, supporters, and a bigger influx of funds while for their corporate counterparts this could mean improved customer goodwill, increased loyalty, and eventually more sales.