In 2022, corporations donated $21.08 billion to nonprofits, a 3.4 percent increase from 2021. This number is projected to only keep going up in future years. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a piece of that pie?
As a nonprofit event producer, you know that it takes a lot of effort to pull off the perfect event. In order to make your dreams a reality, it’s often necessary to seek out corporate partnerships with businesses or individuals who can fill in the gaps with their support. In this blog, we'll explore how nonprofit event organizers can foster mutually beneficial relationships with partners in the community around them.
Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Nonprofits
Partnerships are becoming an increasingly popular strategy for nonprofit events and for good reason. They offer several key benefits that can be helpful in hosting your event.
Nonprofit and corporate partnerships can provide much-needed funding that can help put on the event. Reducing this financial burden on the nonprofit organization allows you to allocate more resources to your mission.
Partner organizations have their own networks and audiences that will now be exposed to your organization. Collaborating with them can help you reach a broader audience of potential volunteers and donors, further increasing event attendance and impact.
Increased Volunteer Base
Many businesses are incorporating volunteering into their business model. VTO, similar to PTO, is a type of paid leave that employees can use to volunteer at approved nonprofits and events. Therefore, partnering with businesses that participate in this model could mean a boost to your volunteer base for your nonprofit event.
Access to Differing Expertise and Skills
Partnering with organizations or individuals who possess specialized skills or knowledge can help enhance the quality of your event. For example, partnering with a marketing agency could potentially mean they could help with promotional efforts. Or, a local landscaping business could help prep your outdoor venue area.
Gain Reputation and Brand Recognition
Especially if you’re a small-to-medium or lesser known event, associating with reputable partners can enhance your credibility and trustworthiness within the community. This makes your event more attractive to potential attendees and donors who may not be familiar yet with your cause.
How to Form Mutually Beneficial Partnerships
Corporate partnerships won’t happen overnight, but knowing the right steps to form long-lasting relationships is essential.
Lean On Your Current Connections
The people already in your circle and be powerful leads to your next partnership. Reach out to current event volunteers, friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations on who you should reach out to first to help support your event.
Map Out Potential Partnership Matches
In addition to your initial leads, it’s time to look for other organizations, businesses, and individuals that have a genuine interest in the issues your nonprofit event supports. A good place to start is by looking at local businesses already in your community. They often are looking to build goodwill and positive identity with the community.
Write a Compelling Pitch
When approaching potential partners, inform them of the mission of the organization you are serving and exactly what your event hopes to achieve by writing a persuasive pitch. Highlight how they can make an impact by being a partner of the event. Avoid sending cookie-cutter messages to every potential match, and instead use that opportunity to describe how what you do ties into their organization.
Agree to Terms of the Corporate Partnership Agreement
Create a blueprint that clearly outlines the specific commitments and responsibilities of each party involved in the partnership. By establishing agreed-upon terms beforehand, everyone involved can proceed with full clarity, further laying the foundation for a successful and mutually beneficial partnership.
Nurture Existing Relationships
Once you’ve successfully gained a partner for your event, don’t let the relationship fizzle out. If you do, it will be much harder to reconnect with your partners for future events. Make sure to nurture the relationship both before, during, and after the event by keeping your partner informed about how their support is making an impact.
Evaluate and Adjust
After your event, assess the effectiveness of your nonprofit and corporate partnerships. What went well, and what could be improved? Measure the impact and gather feedback that will help you refine your corporate partnership strategies or asks for future events.
What Nonprofits Events Can Provide Partners in Return
Don’t forget that you offer value to potential partners, as well. Use these points to leverage why potential partners should work with you and help to support your event.
You can place the partnering business's or individual’s logo on event materials, including signage, tickets, social media posts, and more. This increases their visibility and can boost their reputation within the community.
When you build up a roster of partners, there can be overlap in their missions or needs. You can facilitate networking opportunities between event partners or participants that can potentially lead to business connections that they would find valuable.
Product or Service Showcase
You can dedicate a segment of the event to showcasing the partner’s product or service. This helps them reach a relevant audience, potentially leading to more sales.
If applicable, there are potential tax benefits of supporting a nonprofit event.
From volunteers and donors to partnerships, nonprofit events are all about relationship-building. Strong corporate partnerships can be a driving force behind the success of your nonprofit event and the positive change it creates in the world. While this often requires meticulous planning and effort, the rewards make the investment well worth the time. While you’re out there finding your next partner, let us take care of ticketing for your event. With pay-what-you-can options and options for donor memberships and subscriptions, Passage is fully customizable to fit your needs. Schedule a demo with one of our team members to see just how easy it is to set up.