I have helped many families, establishments, projects, and organizations reach their goals for their social projects throughout the years. I have learned the value of preparation and a positive attitude. There are many large-hearted givers out there, both individuals and corporates. Here are four essential tips which will help you reach them faster.
Choose partners wisely
Create a sniper list of companies whose mission aligns with your social project directly or indirectly. For example, if you are working with children, junk food companies may not be the right fit. Instead, you may look for suitable partners in education/publication/children health companies or an apparel brand that makes uniforms. Similarly, if your project aims to share the stories of rescuing sex trafficked victims, women’s hygiene companies could be targeted. The goal here is not to find a partner who would donate to the charity. Instead, it is to find a company that would partner you in your social quest. It could also be a mutually symbiotic relationship in which the corporate partner can derive a non-monetary benefit from the project impact stories in the form of enhanced brand perception.
Treat corporates as partners in fundraising, not just as big-ticket donors
Setup multiple donation syndicate funds (like a donor advised fund) for the corporate Partner aimed at supporting ActionAid as a charity partner. Reduce the direct ask from the companies and have them lead the syndicate requesting backing from their employees, vendors, partner, or smaller companies from the same geography. Consequently, you get a vast number of fundraising partners instead of merely a sponsor.
Dream big – Go for whales too, amongst other fish
The analogy may be irreverent, but it is a sound fundraising approach – the 80/20 approach. Under this approach, 80% of your funding support comes from 20% of your partners. Aim to find these 20% partners from amongst the biggies or the whales of the industry. Focus on them, help them with what they need in stories, branding, and engage their army to work for your charity as team fundraisers or multiple syndicates in a peer to peer model. For the remaining 80% of companies, go for small businesses where you have a geographic focus. Create a process around your vanilla solution, add local geographic flavour, deploy your local ground force, and monitor the progress. Every local centre should have a personalized fundraising page for local corporations/companies to support. This way, you can satisfy all your partners for maximum benefit for your charity/project.
Other strategies & tactical activities like recurring donation & donor matching programs/challenges that can help you engage your corporate partners
You need to identify the donor needs and create programs that match/satisfy those needs. Some successful ones are:
- The model of corporation pays once/year, employees pay monthly recurring (payroll giving) – Even if companies can’t afford to write a big check, they can always make a significant contribution by activating a payroll giving program. Companies can make a small contribution once before starting the program and mobilizing employees to contribute a small amount monthly from their payroll.
- Launch coupon code donor matching programs for employees – Companies can also launch coupons bases tiered donation matching programs wherein employees could maximize their giving.
- Celebrity syndicates to engage employees – Companies can also engage company leadership or celebrities or influencer-driven fundraisers wherein employees join in as team fundraisers to amplify their giving by several multiples.
Corporate philanthropy is a highly competitive environment; therefore, mapping partners must be a painstaking exercise to bear the right results. Having a corporate to partner in your philanthropic activity brings additional advantages which transcend one-time monetary contribution. These are strategic decisions and need special attention. Combined with the other practical tips we covered above, getting your business/project off the ground and gaining traction will be easier.
(The writer, Founder & CEO, Crowdera)
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