Are you bringing corporate partnerships into your Giving Tuesday strategy this year? We’re breaking down our favorite tips and tricks to help on one of the most important days of the year for nonprofit fundraisers.
While many nonprofits see Giving Tuesday as a significant donor engagement opportunity, the power of corporate sponsorships is often overlooked. In fact, research shows that corporate philanthropy programs leave significant amounts of money on the table, with $4-7 billion going unclaimed every year from matching gift programs alone.
In this post, we’ll share some essential tips and tricks to incorporate as the global giving day approaches.
- Focus on the right corporate partners for your organization
- Build a solid case for sponsorship with impactful value-adds
- Communicate your nonprofit’s plan for Giving Tuesday
- Develop strategic co-marketing efforts with corporate partners
On Giving Tuesday—and any day—planning your fundraising strategy is not a matter of individual versus corporate support. When done right, corporate partnerships can increase individual contributions. At the same time, leveraging individual support can pave the way for new and improved corporate partnerships. Read on to learn exactly how.
1. Focus on the Right Corporate Partners for Your Organization
When you establish corporate partnerships for Giving Tuesday (that last year-round), it’s essential to get started with the right partners. Any company might provide a donation to your organization. Optimal corporate partners will align with your existing campaign efforts to maximize the positive impact on your mission. As you explore potential corporate relationships, take a look at these best practices.
Best Practices to Find a Corporate Partner
- Prioritize local businesses: If your organization receives a lot of support from local donors, partnering with local businesses in the area is a great choice. These companies will be increasingly invested in giving back to the community where you both work, and you might see significant overlap between your two audiences.
- Reach out to companies known for being philanthropic: Many companies deeply engrain charity into their business plans. To locate examples, browse already-curated lists of companies that donate to nonprofits. Consider businesses that have previously supported charitable causes—especially if the causes are similar to yours. These lists can be fantastic to begin your outreach efforts.
- Look for companies with similar values and missions to your own: Like nonprofits, businesses have particular values that their efforts support. As you seek corporate partners, look for corporations whose values match your nonprofit and its work. For example, if you run an animal rescue, consider businesses that also prioritize animal welfare, such as pet supply retailers, veterinarians, doggy daycares, and more.
- Identify businesses with which you have existing connections: If you don’t have to start from scratch with your potential business relationships, don’t. First, look at companies with which you may already have a connection. For example, consider your donors’ employers! Perhaps these companies already contributed to your organization through matching gift programs. Even if they haven’t contributed, it’s still a great place to begin. You already have a lot in common; see where you can go from there.
You’re likely to see more significant results from your efforts when you target specific types of businesses in your corporate partner outreach. Not only that, but the better your corporate partners fit into your overall strategy, the more likely they are to continue supporting your organization down the road.
2. Build a Solid Case for Sponsorship With Impactful Value-adds
A corporate partner will want to get the biggest bang for their buck while working with your nonprofit. Supporting nonprofit causes as a corporate partner is typically associated with many built-in benefits, ranging from employee engagement and retention to improved reputation and sales. However, you’ll also want to make a case for the tangible business value that a partnership with your organization through this campaign can bring the company.
This case will likely incorporate multiple promotional efforts to drive value for both your organization and your sponsor. This could include:
- Online and in-person promotional space, including all flyers, posters, social media posts, website content, and more
- Access to your organization’s audience (consider offering audience demographic data to best appeal to the potential sponsor)
- Opportunities to supply branded swag, freebies, and other hand-outs, providing recipients with functional take-home promotional materials
Attract corporate sponsors to your organization and its upcoming fundraising campaign by focusing on what you can offer the business rather than the other way around. When the expected return on investment is high, a company will be happy to participate by growing its corporate relationship on Giving Tuesday and beyond.
3. Communicate Your Nonprofit’s Plan for Giving Tuesday
Many nonprofits a business could choose to support, and many of them are probably planning a Giving Tuesday campaign. Why should a prospective partner opt to sponsor your organization over another?
Start with having a well-thought-out fundraising plan, then communicate your plan to the company with which you’d like to work. When a company agrees to sponsor your campaign efforts, they become invested in your success, so it helps to woo them with a carefully crafted strategy that will stand out from the rest.
Perhaps you’ll share specific beneficiaries’ stories to highlight your organization’s past successes. Or you might leverage peer-to-peer giving to increase your campaign reach exponentially. Maybe you’ll even incorporate a virtual event. Regardless of your specific game plan, it’s important to share the highlights with your corporate partners.
4. Develop Strategic Co-marketing Efforts With Corporate Partners
Finally, effective marketing is one of the most significant advantages of corporate partnerships for both the nonprofit and the company. By marketing a co-sponsored fundraising campaign, each party can be introduced to the other’s audience. When all goes well, they can each make the most of opportunities to interact with potential new donors and consumers.
Consider these best practices as you establish a co-marketing strategy:
- Work together to set goals: Any effective marketing plan requires specific objectives to be set beforehand. Otherwise, you won’t know if your efforts were ultimately successful. It’s vital that the companies you partner with are aware of your goals and that you are aware of theirs to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Begin promoting your Giving Tuesday campaign early: You’ll want enough time to reach your audience, preferably with multiple touch points prior to the giving day. Consider online newsletters, direct mailings, blog posts, and more.
- Make the most of social media: Ensure campaign content is posted to your organization’s social media profiles as well as your sponsors’ channels. Use hashtags to spread the word. Encourage your audience to interact with and share your postings.
- Create a co-branded campaign landing page: This will be the hub of information where users will go to learn more about your Giving Tuesday fundraising. In an effective co-marketing fashion, you’ll want the page to incorporate elements of both your branding and that of your corporate partners.
When nonprofit and corporate entities work together to promote your sponsored campaign, you’ll each end up with powerful results. The more the initiative is promoted to the respective audiences, the better the fundraising outcome. At the same time, more individuals will be exposed to your corporate partners’ messaging, allowing their team to reap the benefits as well.
Find Your Giving Tuesday Corporate Partner
If corporate partnerships are not already a key component of your organization’s strategy, this Giving Tuesday can be a great time to start.
Businesses participating can increase their reach, improve brand imaging, and even better engage with employees who want to be proud of their companies’ societal contributions. Meanwhile, nonprofits receive additional streams of funding and unique opportunities to connect with new supporters.
And with any luck and a solid sponsorship plan, the corporate relationship doesn’t have to end when the clock strikes midnight on Wednesday, either!