The fashion industry has made trillions by encouraging women to make the most of their best assets. Depending on the latest trend, that might mean Botox lip fillers, eyelash extensions or liposuction. It’s always a focus on the cosmetic, outward appearance. But romantic interests are normally more interested in personality, a sense of humour and a willingness to pay for your round of drinks.
Many non-profits ask us about the value of their assets. Typically they assume that corporate partners are looking for a quick sugar hit of favourable PR and focus on their marketing assets. But corporate partners want deeper and more meaningful relationships beyond access to your logo.
They need your knowledge. It’s unique to your organisation and provides corporates with a way to make more meaningful impact on society. You just need to package it up in a way that helps their business and transforms life for your beneficiaries.
Your non-profit has expertise over many years of programs, services and advocacy. How can you leverage this expertise to change a corporate’s business practices for good? The partnership between Cancer Council and CBA resulted in a guide that helps people diagnosed with serious illness to manage their finances in troubled times. It is combined with targeted training for CBA staff on how to manage enquiries with empathy, understanding and practical solutions. Cancer Council has used its expertise to shape CBA’s services to its customers and enabled them to retain customers and minimise defaults when people are struggling with serious illness.
What do you know about that’s valuable to a corporate partner? In the UK research 55% of corporates wanted to gain insights and better understanding about relevant groups of consumers and key beneficiaries through their NFP partnerships. Through the partnership between banking giant HSBC and Shelter, the charity addressing homelessness, the bank gained insights into the particular problems faced by homeless people in accessing financial services. Through their No Fixed Address initiative, people were able to open a bank account and receive wrap around services from Shelter. It enabled people experiencing homelessness to access government payments and other support and provided a pathway to future employment. HSBC has been able to improve and expand its services and solve a genuine problem whilst raising public awareness. It relied on the insights and networks of Shelter to design and deliver this innovative program.
How do you measure and communicate impact? Your impact analysis and reporting will help a corporate determine the success of its interventions and feed into ESG metrics. If you can demonstrate improvements for the end beneficiaries a corporate is willing to enhance its processes, services and product design to support those improvements. WESNET works with women experiencing family violence. It can clearly demonstrate the effect of cyber stalking and the impact of training the sector in technology safety. Its partnership with Telstra ensures that women have access to new phones and are supported to escape from technology-based abuse.
You have a wealth of value in your heads. Your expertise, insights, knowledge of your cause and deep understanding of your beneficiaries provide unique value to a corporate partner. Yes, they will reward you with cash and other support, but make sure you’re delivering what’s most important to them. You’ll achieve a better result for society together.