Australia has been enthralled with the saga of 20 single people who voluntarily ‘married’ a complete stranger, based on matches that supposed experts made for them. Like a slow moving car crash, the nation has been gripped by the tears, drama, tantrums and torment of when Nadia will finally dump Anthony or if Sean and Susan will make it work.
The way that the couples have approached the prospect of a lifelong partnership has been fascinating. Some look more likely than others to make it to the golden wedding anniversary, whilst the drama of mismatched couples keeps us endlessly entertained. Whilst the nation has been focused on relationships, it’s been interesting to reflect on the lessons for charities seeking corporate partnerships. There are four key things to remember:
- It’s a relationship, not just a wedding
Successful corporate partnerships are about a long term commitment that both parties must work at, especially by understanding each other’s priorities and needs. These evolve over time, but a strong relationship will sustain the twists, turns and challenges. Taking a transactional approach to a partnership may get you a quick win (and a wedding) but without investing in the relationship it won’t be sustained over time.
- Make a careful choice of partner
Charities need to do their research on a prospective partner to find one that complements their core values, mission and ambitions. Chasing a partner just because they have money available is like choosing a spouse based solely on how they look. It’s superficial and won’t be the best start to a long term relationship.
- It’s not about me, it’s about you
Charities often start a pitch to a prospective new corporate partner by talking about themselves for the first 30 mins. It’s like the world’s most boring, one-sided date. If you’ve done your research, then you should be demonstrating the synergies in a potential relationship and trying to demonstrate how a partnership can achieve important objectives for both of you. You, the charity, are the enabler to making great things happen; it’s not really about you, however big your brand.
- It’s about more than just the two of you
A marriage is about the union between spouses but also about the bringing together of two families. The Married at First Sight couples didn’t just spend a lot of time together, they also introduced their partners to family and friends- admittedly, sometimes with mixed results. A successful corporate partnership needs time and attention, not just from a relationship manager but from the leaders and experts across your charitable organisation. You need to nurture a relationship to make it grow and sometimes it takes relationships at the most senior level to make that partner feel valued.
As Married at First Sight staggers towards its climax, we keep our fingers crossed that our favourites will find their happy ever after. For charities seeking meaningful corporate partnerships, you will be more likely to find a happy ending if you adopt the same basic principles: choose your partner carefully, invest in the relationship, think long term and consider the needs and wants of your partner.
Wishing you all happy and fruitful partnerships!
If you want to know more about building successful corporate partnerships, then contact us: email@example.com
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