After speaking at the FIA about the trials and tribulations of corporate partnerships and being a corporate partnership manager I thought I’d highlight some of the reasons why I absolutely love the job and this form of fundraising.
1) Making a real difference
You make a difference in a way that no other fundraising revenue stream can do. You are able to really influence your organisation achieving its strategy. Whether this be through hitting your financial targets, to securing adverts for free on primetime TV to help improve their brand awareness, to having an organisation build a hospital in rural Laos that will service 10,000 people. Your job is always busy and varied and rewarding. I could have listed another 10 things here that make me glow with pride when I think back on them.
2) Building relationship skills
I love making new friends. Who doesn’t right?! In a job that sometimes takes 12-18 months to get some traction in a new partnership it is crucial to stay in touch and keep building a relationship. It has taught me ways in which you can appear to casually stay in touch with your contacts through remembering the small details of your conversion points. (It has taught me to be a better relationship builder.) So as an aside – yes it has also taught me to take detailed notes (and enter them!!!) into our database.
3) Using that creative streak
Being a corporate partnership manager is so much more than being a good business developer and a good relationship builder. You also have to be a great marketer. To be able to look at a company’s marketing strategy, the demographics of their customers with your database, to examine and quantify the assets you have to offer and then build a partnership based on these synergies takes a certain amount of creativity which I love doing. I don’t think in any other form of fundraising you need to have these three attributes to be successful.
4) Learning new skills
I think many people will agree that when you work in a Not-for-profit your job description doesn’t cover all the things that actually need to get done. This is especially so as a Corporate Partnership Manager. Yes, we do the standard stuff such as account management, business development, and proposal writing but what about the other skills which take you out of your comfort zone and improve your skills. Public speaking? Tick. Project management? Tick.
5) Meeting amazing people
The people in your village that you meet along the way… whether they’re the volunteer who has been helping in one of your shops for 50 years, to the CEO who has just pledged a LOT of money to tackle an issue, to the team who you work with day to day who share your values. Fundraising is all about relationships and in this job in particular you meet such a variety of people. In the jobs that I’ve had many of these people have become a part of my personal network.
These are a few of the reasons and there have been some good perks along the way too such as travelling to overseas countries and even being invited to view John Lewis’s Christmas selection months before it was due in store.
What about you -why do you love your job in fundraising? Tell us in the comments below.
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