Does your corporate-nonprofit partnership provide value to both parties? GlobalGiving shares a resource we recently developed to help answer this question. Utilizing this framework can help confirm alignment and value for both partners.
Are corporate donor and nonprofit partner relationships truly partnerships, in which both sides derive value from each other’s strengths and expertise? Where collaboration on strategy can unlock benefits for both? Where mutual alignment actually enables mutual growth? As a team that supports corporate donors with their global philanthropic goals, we get asked these questions a lot.
Using Christoph Senn’s Triple Fit Canvas model as inspiration, typically applied as a sales tool, we adapted our framework to consider the unique elements found in corporate and nonprofit partnerships.
As a first step, using a rating system of 1-5, you can review the nine statements below across the collaborative areas of relationship dynamics, execution, and resourcing, to help determine the status of your current ESG partnership and how aligned you currently are with your nonprofit partner. Rate the occurrence of each of the statements on a scale from 1 to 5—ranging from disagree completely (1) to agree completely (5)—from the perspective of your nonprofit partner. Then, ask your nonprofit partner to rate the accuracy of each statement as well.
1. Our partner collaborates with us and our other stakeholders to build solutions together from the beginning of our partnership.
2. Our partner makes an effort to get to know our team and our approach to this partnership, which deepens our trust.
3. Our partner communicates in an open, respectful, and forward-looking way with us.
4. Our partner uses its expertise and services to support my program’s needs and timelines.
5. Our partner provides solutions effectively and efficiently across our corporate responsibility program.
6. Our partner integrates effectively with our company’s systems and processes.
7. Our partner has knowledgeable staff with the ability to act as trusted advisors for us.
8. Our partner provides staff support who liaise on our behalf with internal teams.
9. Our partner’s team members use their knowledge to enhance and evolve our purpose, culture, and values.
After you have determined how aligned you currently are with your partner, engage your nonprofit partner to see how they responded to the same questions about you.
Together, you can review areas that scored higher as confirmation of mutual strengths both parties are bringing, and lower-scoring areas as potential for growth and improvement. In areas with lower scores, consider the Five Whys framework of asking “why?” five times to identify root causes. Perhaps they could be involved earlier in the planning of your programs and offer insights and guidance? Maybe you could designate a point person to liaise internally on their behalf within your company? By engaging in an honest and open dialogue, both parties can share their expectations and future needs for the program.
It’s important to remember to be patient with yourself and your nonprofit partner. Good relationships take time to build, so consider both short- and long-term goals and workable solutions. Like GlobalGiving, you can use this framework to periodically review your partnerships, and hopefully discover new opportunities and areas of mutual value.
To learn more about how GlobalGiving can bring new value to your program, contact our Partnership Development team.
Featured Photo: St. Croix Foundation CARE Fund by St. Croix Foundation for Community Development