I was speaking to a colleague at work this week, who went on to make an excellent observation. He said, “Your blog posts talk about what a business needs to do in order to maintain a good volunteering relationship with a non-profit organisation (NPO) or charity, but shouldn’t there be an onus on the charity as well?”. My colleague makes a good point. At the end of the day, a charity partnership should be a mutual understanding between two or more parties that seek to fulfil a common, and well-defined goal. So in this post, I wanted to discuss what you, as a small business owner should look for in a charity partner.
1. Make sure that the charity has a clear goal that aligns with your own
If you’ve read my previous posts, you would already be quite familiar with this one. I often mention that in order to negotiate a charity partnership, you need to understand your own business values. This is true for the charity as well. A charity with a clear goal and mission statement will help you to define the terms of the relationship and ensure that the values of your business align with the values of the cause you are supporting. It will also have a greater chance to lead to a longer lasting relationship that serves to enhance the credibility and reach of both parties.
2. The charity should be enthusiastic about the relationship
Negotiating a charity partnership is the same as negotiating a business partnership. Both parties need to be engaged and committed to the relationship, so that if you encounter any roadblocks on the way (and you will), both parties are willing to fight to overcome them. Engagement can be gauged in a number of ways, including the manner in which the representatives conduct themselves, to the speed at which they reply to your emails, to the the level of information the charity is willing to provide about how your contribution impacts them.
3. Willingness to engage employees and provide feedback
When looking for a charity relationship, always keep in mind the benefits that you would like to get out of it. In most cases, part of that benefit will be employee growth and development. When finding a suitable charity, make sure that they have the capacity to engage a suitable number of your employees, provide unique opportunities to the employees who are willing to participate, and are willing to provide results, feedback and growth opportunities in unique, engaging and most importantly, tangible ways.
So there you have it. Three key tips to finding a good charity partner.