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Creative Fundraising and Partnering Relationships:
Match Making For Non-Profits
Presenter: Dawn Callan
Coordinator National Paddling Week and PaddleSmart with Paddle Canada
 

Defining the Partnership: Knowing your needs
•    Direct cash contribution                
•    Access to industry sources
•    Project specific activities
•    Ongoing or long-term “sponsorship”
•    Physical space
•    Board members
•    Specific talents/abilities
•    Other…. Intelligent and tailored ways to mutually benefit and succeed together.

Finding the Right Partner
•    The partnership offer can come from either of the parties or from a third mutual party.
•    Partners can be non, or for profits, individuals, educational sources, and/or governmental.
•    Partnerships may be made for a shared initiative or campaign or for the non-profit as a whole.

Match Making
*In my experience the quickest, strongest, resource for partnership is looking at the groups/people around you who are striving to meet shared or compatible outcomes. 
•    Who is invested in your organization now, can you grow as partners in a reciprocal relationship? 
•    View people investing in your organization as partners in a reciprocal relationship
•    Do they have resources you do not, if you have something to offer which they need. 
•    If together you are stronger in your messaging.
•    If by staying separate, you are both pushing and pulling at a shared target market and/or forcing that mutual demographic to choose – to neither group’s advantage or worse, wearing them out.

Getting to know you…
This is the time for some serious mental elbow grease – you have a  couple candidates on your short list so do the specific research in to the potential partner’s to determine whether you have a match: 
•    Reputation
•    Corporate citizenship
•    Philosophic priorities 
•    Rule out a conflict or offensive potential with your existing membership base, mission statement, and those you seek to serve
•    Styles of marketing and related materials

*It is far better to do you due diligence (investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, or required by your policies or procedures), I use this term in relation to a voluntary investigation prior to reaching out to a potential partner. Reaching out to someone and discovering partway through the process that they have a negative aspect or hit a market in conflict with your mission and those you serve can lead to a very negative and potentially damaging break up with long-lasting ripple effects.

Meet and Greet
*I recommend that you assign a lead person to be the contact specific to each potential partner. Do not confuse the issue by having multiple people empowered to reach out at the same time. Others may/should be involved when you hit the chat or commitment stage but always have one lead person for the sake of clarity, comfort, and cohesiveness.
•    Create a check list of the range of opportunities you have identified / or are seeking
•    Make the call
*I have been looking around for someone who can …. and I keep coming back to you.  
It appears that we are both … I am interested in increasing … I would like to chat with you about this project/opportunity that we may share. Would you be interested in getting together and looking at the areas where we overlap and how we can support each other? 

First Meeting(s): Usually best in private and 1:1.
•    Don’t assume anything, take time to learn each other’s realities and dispel any misconceptions 
•    Have conversations with them about how they would like to be involved. 
•    Be open about defining reasonable expectations success come through realism, negotiate and find common ground.

Follow-up 
Always say thank you no matter what the outcome. An email or call after any meeting or connection with a potential partner is a must. Thank you and a summary of the meeting attached is a great move. 
If your fortunate enough to be moving ahead and each of you take this to the next level, a follow-up report on the success of the growing initiative is a must.

Be brave
So it did not go well. Suck it up and ask what you could do better. 
This is not the time to argue or backtrack. 
Thank them and appreciate that any feedback they give you, like it or not needs to be considered.

Negotiation
•    Be honest and open about the goals the outcome measurable objectives, the needs, the disparities and coping techniques.
•    You can say no, they can say no – it beats frustration, disappointment, and headachy complications.
•    Build in a prenup. Define what success is and what indicators call for a re-evaluation. 
•    Better to go your separate ways in a mutually agreed upon manner than to be forced to publicly “fire a partner” or have them “fire you”. 

Resources: Online and in community

  • http://www.slideshare.net/iof-events/corporate-fundraising-17315101
  • http://www.unicef.org/about/execboard/files/UNICEF_Private_Fundraising_and_Partnerships_Plan_2014-2017.pdf
  • http://www.worldpartnershipwalk.com/en/get-fundraising/fundraising-toolkit
  • http://www.charitypeople.co.uk/blog/post_how-to-pitch-fundraising-ideas-at-an-interview_9b6085a5abae11e4ad7a001999c29f76/
  • http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/pe/bgrd/backgroundfile-55602.pdf
  • http://gettingattention.org/
    • http://www.afpnet.org/ResourceCenter/content.cfm?ItemNumber=3092&navItemNumber=548
  • http://edmontondreamcentre.ca/images/Resources/Fundraising%20Event%20Toolkit%20-%20May%2027.pdf
  • http://community.businessfightspoverty.org/profiles/blogs/five-common-confusions-on-fundraising-vs-partnerships
  • http://afptoronto.org/
  • http://www.instituteforgiving.org/seminars-for-fundraisers
  • http://www.globalgiving.org/crowdfundamentals
    • Volunteer Canada is soon to release a primer on non-profit corporate relationships at the forum;
    • Partnership Brokers Association and Partnering Initiative offer practical tools on partnerships.
    • The Remarkable Partnerships group: is a corporate partnerships consultancy designed to help charities grow their corporate partnerships. http://remarkablepartnerships.com/blog/
    • Locally: visit the chamber of commerce, university or college business programs, business associations, and business people willing to mentor. Look around you for successful groups and/or individuals and reach out for assistance, that very act may bring you in line with who/what you seek.