Consumers have never been as concerned about corporate social responsibility as they are today. Social enterprises are on the rise, and more and more startups are following this business model. But what if your mission isn’t tackling a social or environmental issue head-on? How can you demonstrate that you are socially responsible? Or maybe you’re just starting out as a social enterprise and need to amp up your network and reach? There is no business strategy more effective in making a positive difference, both economically and socially, than building a strategic partnership between a for-profit business and a non-profit organization. Fortunately, there are more than 1.5 million non-profits registered in the U.S. that are looking to partner with businesses and make a difference. Below we’ll go through the top reasons (besides changing the world) that you can benefit from partnering with a non-profit.
Increase Employee Engagement, Morale, and Retention.
Partnering with a non-profit allows the opportunity for your employees to feel closer to your business and to get involved outside of day-to-day operations. According to a study by Cone Communications, 88% of millennials said their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issue[s], as well as 83% said they would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. Gathering around a specific cause will bring your employees together and boost overall morale within the company. You can offer time to volunteer together, collaborate on fundraising, and create marketing projects and events that boost both your business and a non-profit.
Widen Your Network— Attract New Business Partners and Relationships.
Non-profits are generally very well connected, as they work with powerful and wealthy donors to support their goals. In working with non-profits, you’ll build direct relationships with big names and companies across industries. In addition, a non-profit partnership can boost the number of potential employees interested in joining your company. This will give you a competitive edge and raise the standard requirements met before hiring.
Increase Customer and Brand Loyalty.
Loyalty is very closely aligned with trust, and when customers choose a brand or business over and over again, it means they trust you. Non-profits can help you build this trust with customers. It helps to back up your company as a business that’s doing something good in the world. If by supporting you, they are indirectly supporting a non-profit, you become a ‘feel-good’ part of their consumer decisions. Lastly, people will be more inclined to purchase your product over the competitors that aren’t making an effort to make a positive difference.
Positive Public Relations
Positive public relations are an absolute must for a thriving business. In working with non-profits, you’ll show the world that your business truly values making a positive contribution to the world, and cares about more than just making money. Positive PR will come naturally with your partnership as you will increasingly be involved with more good press, marketing, and events. Even your consumers and employees will be more likely to share your company on social media or with their friends if it’s helping make a positive difference in the world.
Now You May Be Convinced, but What Are the Next Steps?
First, research which causes, and non-profits align closely with your brand, employees, and consumer base. Make sure they are accessible to you and offer projects you would be excited to be a part of. Next, reach out and begin to negotiate a partnership.
Then, the fun begins!
You can start to:
- Organize volunteer opportunities for employees
- Work together on a marketing campaign
- Create a fundraiser
- Create events together
- Donate directly from your corporation (Plus—these types of donations are tax deductions, and oftentimes are deducted from employee’s paychecks on a regular basis. This type of partnership can be made by both companies and individuals!)
We’re lucky to live in a world that businesses and consumers want to be involved in social business ventures. If you aren’t already, look into partnering up with a non-profit so both you can reap the benefits!