On October 28th, Venture to Impact held a panel discussion to support nonprofits that struggle with creating lasting cross-sectoral partnerships. The discussion was led by V2I’s executive director and featured CSR team representatives from Dell, Salesforce, VMware, and JP Morgan. The discussion focused on topics such as; where to begin talks of partnerships, misconceptions about CSR teams for large companies, factors that make nonprofits appealing/unappealing to corporate, how to align programs, and how to reach volunteers.
Creating lasting non-transactional relationships are a major challenge for organizations as generally, many large corporations are looking for an immediate return on the partnership. This creates many difficulties in finding a company that would benefit from this type of partnership especially if your nonprofit is on the smaller side.
We asked nonprofits what they believed the greatest challenges of creating a cross sectoral relationship were. There were a variety of different responses that we received including; poor digital presence, lack of communication knowledge or who to talk to, and uncertainty on how to engage corporate partners in projects. Below are the main struggles of nonprofits:
1. Organizations struggle with knowing who to reach out to at companies to discuss the possibility of a partnership.
2. Once securing the partnership, organizations can lack knowledge on involving employees from the partnering company in upcoming projects.
3. Not having a strong digital presence is also at the root of the issue for several organizations as a lack of following can be unattractive to larger companies.
We decided to host a panel discussion with panelists from fortune 500 companies JP Morgan, Salesforce, Dell, and VMware. The objective of the discussion was to demystify corporate partnerships and give knowledge to nonprofit organizations on how to obtain and maintain those relationships. During the discussion, participants gained knowledge about different types of partnerships that can form, what CSR teams consider before establishing partnerships with nonprofits, and what is standard to know before seeking a partnership.
Out of eleven respondents to our post-panel survey;
Participants who joined the session were exposed to critical information relating to securing long-lasting corporate partnerships. The main points covered include; where to begin talks of partnerships, misconceptions about CSR teams for large companies, factors that make nonprofits appealing/unappealing to corporate, how to align programs, and how to reach volunteers.