The start of a new year is filled with hope and the promise of new beginnings. After a stressful 2020 we’re all ready for a fresh start. When I was a child, we had a ritual for the new school year. We cleaned out all the pencils that had been worn down, broken or chewed at the ends and started with a fresh set of sharpened, pristine, multi-coloured beauties. The stories were yet to be written, but the tools were ready.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” TS Eliot
What new beginnings are you ready to create this year and what will you leave behind?
The landscape for corporate partnerships has changed dramatically and 2021 is the time for partnerships to shine. Time to leave behind last year’s language and make a new beginning for your organisation.
We not Me
A post- COVID world will be built by organisations focused on what they can achieve in partnership together. If you’re still positioning your non-profit as the hero of the story, then you’ll be left behind. Your corporate partners want more than the warm glow of donating to you; they want to collaborate with you and create solutions together. The search for a COVID vaccine has seen unprecedented collaboration between big pharmaceutical companies. Normally R&D activities are guarded like Fort Knox by the pharma sector. But in 2020 we’ve seen extraordinary cooperation between bitter rivals, united by the single goal of bringing a vaccine to the world.
Impact not activities
We’ve seen countless partner reports that list the activities conducted with corporate donations. You may have run 1000 workshops, trained hundreds of youth at risk, rescued abandoned puppies and provided slick reports with lovely pictures. What was the impact that your partner helped to achieve? Can you explain the long term impact or the transformational impact of the partnership on a societal problem? Thankyou created a successful business selling bottled water and funding water and toilets in developing countries. But they realised that their focus on activities was at the expense of meaningful impact. Read their honest self-analysis and how they are transforming their future partnerships.
COVID and natural disasters gave corporate profits a battering in 2020. But corporate support for non-profit partners stepped up and met the challenge of increased community need. From Reckitt Benckiser providing Dettol products to Meals on Wheels to RACV Solar helping rescue orphaned wombats in the bushfires, we saw new partnership opportunities across all sectors. There is enormous potential for new corporate partnerships for non-profits who are prepared to do their homework.
Take the shot
“You miss 100% of the shots you never take” said the legendary sportsman Wayne Gretsky. 2021 is the time to stop procrastinating and get started. If you’re looking with envy at non-profits with successful corporate partnerships, then know that all of the high profile ones started small. The partnership between Baker’s Delight and BCNA started by simply sharing some office space. It took years of hard work and great relationship building to grow into a $20 million partnership. Partnerships can transform your non-profit and your mission. What are you waiting for? Take the shot.
It’s time to leave behind last year’s words and find your voice in 2021. If you need support to get your organisation ready for corporate partnerships or you’d like to build your partnerships skills, then here’s how we can help…