Expanding Your Partnership Vision

I posted this blog on my Artist’s Light ‘s site. If you’re an SMB emerging technology company, you need to know how to build interest as well as traffic to your web site. I work with many non-profits to help them grow awareness and contributions for their causes. Many well known entrepreneurs have used social causes as a way of evaluating their business’s success.  People as diverse as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Bono have all been willing to help causes with their marketing. 

On a personal note I have recieved over 35,000 site visits on my corporate web sites because of my involvement with cause marketing. I have had several calenders published of my work that still hang on clients’ walls.  I won’t say the work involved isn’t hard, but the payoff is incredible for both your business and the non-profit. I’ve also enjoyed the connections and time spent with other business leaders who work with my non-profit clients. If you pick your partners well, extraordinary partnerships happen.  If you have comments or other questions, please contact me at 614-932-0655.  (Tripp)

I’m Trish, and I’ll be guest blogging for Tripp from time to time.  I’ll be talking about a topic that is near to both of our hearts; getting businesses and non-profit organizations together to form mutually satisfying partnerships.  I worked for years in the non-profit arena, first in the Education Department at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, then as Curator of Education at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio.  Though I worked in the museum field, there are countless other types of non-profits that can use the expertise of the business world and not just in terms of financial support (although that helps immensely!).

Businesses and non-profits can create true partnerships that provide long term benefits to both parties.  The non-profit can get business expertise, sponsorships, and increased exposure.  The business can get increased goodwill in the community, more customers, and increased exposure. The key is knowing what each of you wants to accomplish through the partnership.  To help that along, I’ve developed some guidelines that may lend a hand.

What should you say, what are their hot buttons, what’s going to hook them?  These are the kinds of things you need to think through before approaching a potential partner. 

1.    List who you could approach for a potential partnership.  Think about the synergies between your two organizations or if it’s a group you feel particularly passionate about.

2.    Make a list of what’s in it for them.  Clearly identify the benefit to their organization.

3.    Think through, in advance, what kind of deal you want so you’re not caught unaware of when you call them.

4.    Write down what you want to talk about.  You don’t need to script the call, just make sure you know the key points you want to discuss to keep the conversation moving.

It doesn’t matter if you are a business or a non-profit, the same guidelines apply.  Anyone entering into a partnership wants to know how it will benefit them, before they invest the time and energy.  So take a chance and try a partnership.  You never know what could happen.

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