Corporate partnerships are at a tipping point in Australia and around the world. There has never been more pressure on a business to do good in society and not just do no harm. As a partnership manager you have the ability to influence and enable companies to demonstrate how they create social good, rather than just talk about it.
Over the course of the pandemic, corporate partnerships have been one area of revenue generation for charities that have stood up and shown growth, especially over other areas of fundraising. This means as the person leading the charge for corporate partnerships you have gained more positional power. Yell it with me, nobody puts corporate partnerships in the corner anymore.
Here’s why I think 2022 will be another amazing year for corporate partnerships:
You can be more ambitious
The higher your ambition, the more you’ll be able to inspire others to come with you on a journey to fairer and more just world. As part of your role you have been making a case for the ‘have nots’. Now more than ever the world is awake to the gaps in equality. Can you inspire corporates into action that makes real and demonstrable differences to closing those gaps? You’ll need to be more ambitious. Corporate partnerships are no longer simply fundraising. More than ever before, they can attack some of the really wicked problems in society. This requires a shift. Can you seize this shift and think about how your partnership can benefit all of society? Step up and think bigger than your programs and your organisation, and be in awe of the possibility that is in front of you.
Collaboration will transform communities
Can you get really good at changing the way that a business thinks about how it operates in our communities? Charities have the expertise, the knowledge of what is impacting their beneficiaries and the systemic barriers that prevent widespread change from happening. Not-for-profits don’t have the resources to execute on their ambitions though. Companies have these resources and are able to innovate at speed and scale. What a difference you could make by asking them to collaborate with you. They might be able to provide a solution, or research, or greater resources, if you ask them to work with you. Not fund you, there is a distinct difference. Asking them to collaborate will not only help you win more partners, but you will get far greater outcomes than doing it on your own. Where can a company collaborate with you?
2022 will be about employees
Businesses are focusing on their employees. We have seen first-hand in the last few weeks of Omicron what happens to society if employees aren’t able to work. It hasn’t been fun for anyone. Australia has not only a workforce shortage at the moment, it also has a talent shortage. Employees are also being encouraged to work from home and pick up the slack for team members who are sick or isolating. The rest of the workforce is at risk of burnout or quitting. People are changing jobs frequently and looking for roles that provide meaning and purpose. Have you thought about how a partnership with your organisation can deliver on these pressing employee issues? Be more ambitious than volunteering and think about staff well-being. What expertise do you have that brings relief to a workforce under pressure? How can you bring disparate employees together (probably virtually) to create that sense of meaning and inspiration for them, but also helps further your mission?
2022 will be another record breaker for corporate partnerships. We know lots of you are already stepping up to the challenge of achieving greater and more widespread impact through partnerships. You are sure of success if you can be the bright light that inspires businesses to do better. We can’t wait to hear what you do.